The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has dismissed Kwekwe magistrate Story Rushambwa over alleged abuse of office following an internal disciplinary hearing.
Rushambwa was fired together with clerk of court, Bright Mpiyabo, who he was arrested with on January 17, this year.
“Yes i can confirm that the magistrate you were talking about is longer with the JSC. A criminal case is also still pending before the courts”, Chief Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi was quoted by midlandsnews as saying.
Rushambwa and Mpiyabo are embroiled in a criminal case involving controversial businessman, Shepherd Tundiya.
The duo has been accused of illegally facilitating the release of a stolen vehicle to Tundiya and their criminal case is still pending before the courts of justice.
They are out on $2 000 bail each.
The disciplinary hearing which recommended their dismissal was held at the Kwekwe Magistrates Court on June 1, 2020.
It is the state’s case that sometime in September 2018, a Mercedes Benz vehicle was impounded from Tundiya by CID Kwekwe as it was suspected to have been stolen from neighbouring South Africa.
The state also alleges that the Merc was then handed over to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) for further management. It was then held pending finalisation of investigations by South African Police Service and possible settling of duty in terms of the Customs and Excise Act.
Following an ex-parte application for the release of the vehicle by Tundiya on December 9 2019, Rushambwa who presided over the matter reportedly granted an order that the vehicle be released to the controversy-ridden businessman unconditionally.
The whereabouts of the vehicle, according to the state, are unknown.
Anti-corruption police in October last year also impounded a Toyota vehicle belonging to former Kwekwe deputy mayor John Mapurazi which had allegedly been imported without paying duty.
Despite him being a non-lawyer, Tundiya reportedly represented Mapurazi in a case presided over by then magistrate Rushambwa.
The latter controversially ruled that the vehicle be released to Mapurazi, prejudicing ZIMRA, in the process.
Additional Reporting: Zwnews