Goba ‘burn his fingers’ in Magaya rape trial

Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries leader, Walter Magaya’s lawyer, Thabani Mpofu yesterday accused Prosecutor-General (PG) Ray Goba of abusing his prosecutorial duties after he insisted on prosecuting the clergyman for rape, when the complainant had declined to testify in the matter.

BY CHARLES LAITON

Mpofu made the remarks, while making submissions before High Court judge, Justice Amie Tsanga, who had earlier dismissed an application by the State’s witness, seeking to be excused from the trial on the basis that she was being forced to falsely testify against Magaya.

Tsanga’s ruling came after Goba had urged the court to dismiss the witness’ application as baseless, arguing that criminal proceedings are conducted in terms of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.

But Mpofu accused Goba of harassing his client and pursuing a personal agenda against the PHD Ministries leader.

“This matter is about prosecutorial misconduct and is meant to harass the accused (Magaya). The court should take judicial notice that the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) recently set up an anti-corruption unit in his office because of the PG’s conduct and his failure to deal with corruption matters,” Mpofu said.

“This is prosecutorial misconduct because the PG is failing to operate within his parameters. For some reasons, he wants Magaya to continue paying his lawyers and keeps on saying we will prosecute and harass you.”

This did not go down well with PG’s representative, Justin Uladi, who accused Mpofu of raising issues that were not relevant to the case.

Goba also weighed in, saying his office simply wanted justice to take its course, accusing Mpofu and his team of improperly conducting themselves in the matter.

“The manner in which the defence is conducting themselves leaves a lot to be desired. I transferred this matter from the magistrates’ court to the High Court because it was being abused. What does the accused person fear? There is nothing special about Magaya, or be it a prophet of God. The administration of justice is being brought into disrepute. This is one of the most corrupted matters I have experienced in my 34-years in the legal profession,” he said as Mpofu accused Goba of pushing an agenda to tarnish his client’s image.

“It is evidence of prosecutorial misconduct for the PG to call names on accused person. He says there has been corruption, I am the leading counsel here, who have I corrupted? He is the PG and cannot make such submissions. This is the reason why he has failed his office, leading to the setting up of a corruption commission unit by the President.”

After a heated argument between the parties, Justice Tsanga dismissed Mpofu’s application and ordered the trial to proceed, but the latter made another application, seeking leave to appeal against the judge’s ruling at the Supreme Court.

Mpofu was being instructed by Admire Rubaya, Everson Chatambudza and Oliver Marwa, while Uladi and Chipo Muronda were on Goba’s side.

The complainant, a congregant at Magaya’s church, was represented by Sylvester Hashiti.