In an incident that pushes one to question the decorum of the Zimbabwean judicial system, A Karoi Magistrate with the clerk of court as his accomplice, allegedly accepted a $20 bribe in order to rule in favour of the defendant in a maintenance case.
Amanda Muridzo (31), who is employed as Karoi magistrate and Shelter Kachirika, a clerk at the same court, appeared at Chinhoyi Magistrate Court, both facing charges of bribery as defined in section 170(1)(b)(ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act chapter 9.23.
Prosecuting, Mrs Kessia Teveraishetold the court that last year in August, Sinafi Chidoko, who is David Mazowi’s ex-wife, filed maintenance papers at the Karoi Magistrate Court. She was claiming $250 for the upkeep of her two minor children.
The court heard that Mazowi and Chidoko appeared before Muridzo and Mazowi was ordered to pay $50 as maintenance every month.
Further, the court heard that Chidoko later applied for an upward variation to $100. It was this application that was then compromised due to the bribe.
“Muridzo and Kachirika, in connivance with Mazowi who is still at large, hatched a plan to influence the outcome of the variation. Mazowi transferred $20 from his ecocash account into Kachirika’s ecocash account,” the court heard.
“Muridzo presided over the maintenance hearing and granted an upward variation of $20 against $50, as was requested by the applicant, after she had been influenced by the bribe”.
The matter came to light when Chidoko received a tip-off from an anonymous caller who told her how the maintenance case had been handled.