Prosecution officers in an armed robbery case involving a 29-year-old Zezuru national, Tobias Chivaura, are in a dilemma.
The officer who investigated the case is no more. His deputy resigned from the police services.
Meanwhile, Chivaura languishes in prison, remanded in custody. The state prosecutor, Inspector Motlalepula Sello, said the case can not proceed as evidence is no longer available. Both core witnesses are not available prompting prosecution to consult with high authorities.
Relating her predicament to Extension II principal magistrate Barnabas Nyamazabo this week, Sello said the directive from higher authorities was not yet available but was expected soon.
She said the court could grant the accused bail because of the above reasons.
Pleading with the court to grant him bail, Chivaura said he is a responsible man.
He would subscribe to bail conditions, he said, because he had mentally matured since the alleged crime was committed and would not temper with justice by disappearing.
But Nyamazabo would not agree saying the offence committed is a serious offence.
He pointed out that Chivaura had been on the run for a long time. He had only just been arrested and should suffer the consequences of absconding, Nyamazabo said as he remanded Chivaura in custody for another 14 days.
In an interview with The Sunday Standard, Sello said though tangible evidence is no longer available, the prosecution could not withdraw the case against the accused.
She said prosecution would find other means.
“The statements and comments made by the witnesses, and which are in the docket, are appropriate and can still be used by the prosecution.”
But she was adamant the decision and direction must come from high authorities.
If luck would come his way and prosecution decided to withdraw the case, Chivaura’s disappearance would have worked for him. His other co-accused are languishing in prison, having been convicted and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
The Chivaura and six others, says the charge sheet, on July 6, 2003 at Gaborone’s National Stadium, armed with a pistol and knives, stole two Motorola walkie-talkie radios valued at P 4000 and used violence on Basimanebotlhe Segatlhe and Makanke Tsatsi during the commission of the alleged crime.
Meanwhile a 24-year-old man from Mahalapye was on Friday arraigned for mention before Extension II magistrate court for defilement. The facts of the case are that between July 20 and 23, 2006 at Maruapula, Christopher Wigget unlawfully had carnal knowledge with a 14-year-old girl. If convicted Wigget faces a jail sentence of up to 10 years.