By Peter Chivhima
The 2020 legal year began on 13 January, with Chief Justice Luke Malaba opening the legal year under the theme: “Judicial Transparency and Accountability”.
ZBC News takes a look at some of the high profile cases that made the headlines this year.
Several high profile cases kept the local courts busy this year, with most of the cases involving criminal abuses of office, corruption and fraud.
In May, MDC Alliance Kuwadzana legislator Joanna Mamombe appeared in court together with Cecilia Chimbiru and Netsai Marowa on allegations of communicating false information after they reportedly choreographed and dramatised their abductions before they were ‘found’ dumped at Muchapondwa Business Centre in Bindura.
In June, former Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge was jailed for two and half years for criminal abuse of office.
It was the state’s case that in 2016 Undenge handpicked a public relations company owned by Psychology Maziwisa and Oscar Pambuka to do work for Zimbabwe Power Company without going to tender.
Still in the same month, the now late flamboyant businessman Genius Ginimbi Kadungure tried to exonerate himself and his company from smuggling allegations.
Kadungure appeared before the Harare Magistrate Court facing two counts, one for allegedly smuggling more than five million kilogrammes of gas into the country and the other failing to submit tax returns to the tax collector.
His cases were later on struck off the roll on the 1st of December following his death.
In June, the then Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo was released on $50 000 bail after he appeared in court on allegations of corruption.
In July, the trial of former Cabinet Minister Prisca Mupfumira together with former Permanent Secretary Mr Ngoni Masoka kicked off with the duo pleading not guilty to all three counts of criminal abuse of office.
In the same month, the trial of former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation Chief executive Officer Mr Patrick Mavhura, former Director Human Resources and Administration Benania Shumba together With former Human resources Manager Mr Stephen Kundishora kicked off, with Kundishora throwing an egg on Mavhura and Shumba’s faces.
The trio are facing allegations of criminal abuse of office and defrauding ZBC.
On 24 July, Hopewell Chin’ono appeared in court on allegations of inciting public violence relating to the flopped July 31 demonstrations.
On 15 August, MDC Alliance political activist and City of Gweru employee, Tamuka Denhere appeared in court facing allegations of threatening to kill Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda after he announced the recall of opposition legislators from Parliament.
In the same month, MDC Alliance national vice chairperson Job Sikhala appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court on allegations of inciting public violence.
Former Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba also appeared in court in August on allegations of criminal abuse of office involving the sale of 150 residential stands in Kuwadzana suburb without following laid down procedures.
Several other Harare City Council officials, including current Mayor Jacob Mafume, were also arrested on corruption allegations, with their cases still pending at the courts.
By Peter Chivhima