Prosecutor Goes On The Run After Agreeing To Release Of Notorious Armed Robber Musa Taj Abdul

The state prosecutor who agreed to the release on bail of notorious armed robber Musa Taj Abdul and three of his gang members are reported to have gone on the run. 

The police are currently looking for Tapiwa Kasema who has since been suspended from duty by Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi for consenting to the release of the armed robbers.

According to an online publication, Kukurigo, police detectives conducted raids at two separate addresses and failed to find Kasema. The raids came about after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) filed a report against Kasema for possible corruption and called on the police to investigate the circumstances which resulted in Taj Abdul and three armed robbers getting bail despite the fact that Taj Abdul has been on the police wanted list since 1999.

The Herald reports that the police initially raided Kasema’s home in Glen View 3 on Tuesday night, where his family is said to have professed ignorance over his whereabouts.

After hitting a dead end, the police then went to Kasema’s mother’s house where they again failed to locate the underfire prosecutor. Police sources who spoke to the publication said that they have since launched a manhunt for Kasema.

On Monday, High Court judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero granted Taj Abdul ZWL$5000 (approximately US$60) bail after the Kasema consented to the granting of bail. Justice Chikowero also granted bail to two other armed robbers who were part of Taj Abdul’s gang. 27-year-old Godfrey Mupamhanga was granted ZWL$5000 (approximately US$60) bail while 29-year-old Tapiwa Kanhanga was granted ZWL$2000 (approximately US$25) bail. A fourth gang member, 31-year-old Douglas Mutenda was also granted bail.
Prosecutor Goes On The Run After Agreeing To Release Of Notorious Armed Robber Musa Taj Abdul
Prosecutor Goes On The Run After Agreeing To Release Of Notorious Armed Robber Musa Taj Abdul

Speaking on Kasema’s suspension, Chief Law Officer in the Prosecutor-General’s Office Justin Uladi told the Herald,

“We are proceeding to suspend Tapiwa Kasema who consented to bail in the case of the armed robbers.

“We have further referred his case to the police for investigation because we are of the view that the consent was corruptly made.”

The Chief Law Officer also said that the NPA was going to appeal Justice Chikowero’s decision because the judge had misdirected himself.

“Our prosecutor did not have the requisite authority to file the consent order as per our standard operating procedures,” he said.

“Further, the judge misdirected himself in relying on a concession which was improperly made. In an event, the judge was not bound by the concession by the prosecutor. Therefore, the judge did not properly apply his mind to the case before him.”

Kasema is also said to have a chequered history at the NPA after he was arrested last year on charges of criminal abuse of office. He was arrested by the officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Commercial Crime Division after he allegedly consented to the release of a passport belonging to former Cabinet minister Ignatius Chombo, who was facing several corruption allegations.
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