Magistrate Arrested For Corruption

Mavuna who was arrested on Friday in Plumtree appeared before Bulawayo Magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa on Monday on charges of contravening Section 174 of the Criminal Law that of Criminal Abuse of office following disappearance of court records at Plumtree Magistrate Court.
Allegations against Mavuna who has been Plumtree Magistrate since 2009 are that he presided over several criminal matters, and imposed sentences that required records of proceedings be sent to the Regional Court for review and appeal before a Judge of the High Court within seven days after imposing sentences.
But contrary to the provisions Mavuna failed to submit records of proceedings and kept the records in his office which led to their disappearance and have not been recovered up to date .
Mavuna is also accused of having done disfavour to the appellants by denying them justice. This happened between period 2009 and 2012.
Magistrate Muchemwa granted Mavuna free bail and postponed the case to 30 November.
There has been an increase in the number of judicial and police officers involved in corruption cases in the recent years which analysts attributes to poor salaries. Most judicial officers are getting salaries below US$500 per month.
Last year Zimbabwe magistrates went on nationwide strike that crippled the judiciary sector demanding better salaries and improved working conditions.
The magistrates were joined by clerks of court and court interpreters effectively paralysing the judicial system.
The magistrates were demanding payment of $600 for trainee magistrate, $1 000 for junior magistrate, $1 500 for senior magistrate, $1 700 for provincial magistrate, $2 000 for senior provincial magistrate, $2 500 for regional magistrate, $3 000 for senior regional and deputy chief magistrates and $3 300 for a chief magistrate.
The Zimbabwe magistrate said they earned far below their counterparts in South Africa and Namibia.