Under-fire Harare prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema has reportedly gone on the run after he did not turn up for work, and police failed to locate him during raids on two addresses.
Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi announced Thursday that Kasema had been suspended pending an investigation for consenting to bail for alleged armed robber Musa Taj Abdul, 47, and three others.
Police sources said detectives – acting on a corruption complaint by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) – had been to the homes of Kasema and his mother, but failed to locate him.
Abdul was freed on Z$5,000 bail by the High Court on Wednesday after the NPA, represented by Kasema, consented to bail.
Government spokesman Ndavaningi Mangwana immediately criticised the ruling by Justice Benjamin Chikowero, observing that Abdul had been on the run for 20 years before his capture in Beitbridge following a shoot-out with police in August. He had been dubbed Zimbabwe’s “most wanted”.
Before the four suspects were freed from prison, police hit them with new charges. Abdul and his co-defendants Godfrey Mupamhanga, 27, Rudolf Tapiwa Kanhanga, 29, and Douglas Mutenda, 31, will appear in court on Friday facing the new charges.
The suspects face a string of armed robbery charges. Police say as many as 53 robberies have been linked to Abdul, although he had been charged with just two before Wednesday’s bail decision.