Jacob Manzunzu is a Zimbabwean lawyer and former Deputy Registrar of the High Court. He also served as the Deputy Sheriff of the Botswana High Court and interviewed to be a judge of the High Court of Zimbabwe in 2014. He was appointed Judge of High Court in December 2017 by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Jacob Manzunzu
Born Jacob Manzunzu
Education University of Zimbabwe
Occupation
  • Lawyer
Known for Being a lawyer.

Contents

Education

He holds a Bachelor of Law Honours Degree from the University of Zimbabwe.[1]

Career

Manzunzu is a former Registrar and Sheriff of the High Court of Zimbabwe and former Deputy Registrar of the Botswana High Court. He was one of the 46 candidates who took part in the interviews for the six vacant posts of the judges of the High Court held between October and November 2014.[2] While being interviewed Manzunzu said he had helped the Botswana government to establish a law school where he was still a director.[3] Manzunzu performed well in the interview but had one glitch when he wilted under intense questioning by the commissioners about his role in a case involving Standard Chartered Bank and the attachment of some property. Manzunzu, in response, said that the matter happened when he had left the office and was not involved.[4]

In July 2017, he was among the 8 people shortlisted to attend public interviews for the post of Prosecutor General.[5] He was however appointed Judge of the High Court in December 2017 by president Mnangagwa after having been interviewed by the Judicial Services Commision.


Controversies

Fraud

On 31 October 2014, Manzunzu was served with summons by officials from the Prosecutor- General’s Office after the Judicial Service Commission interviewed him for six vacant posts at the High Court. He was summoned to appear in court on charges of fraud emanating from alleged underhand dealings while he was working there as Deputy Registrar of the High Court.

Manzunzu was tried in July 2012 on charges of corruption for fraudulently auctioning a house belonging to Ms. Sibongile Manyimo, but was acquitted at the close of the State case. He was charged with two counts of corruption and fraud involving more than $150 000. He allegedly committed the offence between 2000 and 2003 while he was still working in Zimbabwe as the Registrar and Deputy Sheriff of the High Court of Zimbabwe.[6]

It was alleged that in 2000, Manyimo bought a property, house number 3 at Rosedean Gardens, Ashdown Park, from Inchdale Investment which was represented by one Adelino Jose Bento. In this respect, an agreement of sale was signed by both parties, but ownership transfer was not affected because Bento later went out of the country. When Bento left Zimbabwe, it was alleged, his company owed Standard Chartered Bank cash and in a bid to recover the said money from Inchdale Investment, the bank identified two properties number 1 and 22 Rosedean Gardens for auctioning. Manzunzu, who was responsible for authorizing auctions at the High Court, and he allegedly bought house number 22 Rosedean Gardens. This forced Samuriwo to complain against the purchase of the house by Manzunzu.

In a bid to cover up for his misdeeds, Manzunzu allegedly connived with Patrick Nyeperayi, Tichaona Samuriwo, and Clemence Mahuni to defraud Manyimo of her property and pursuant to their plan, they purported as if Manyimo’s house was identified as one of the properties identified by the bank for auctioning. As a result, Manyimo’s house was fraudulently sold to Tichaona Francis Samuriwo by the High Court of Zimbabwe through purported private treaty without her knowledge.[3]

In July 2015, the High Court threw out a National Prosecuting Authority application for review of the proceedings leading to the lawyer’s acquittal on charges of fraud and corruption. The State cited as respondent failed to appear in court to argue the matter before Justice Lavender Makoni. Justice Makoni, after reading documents filed in the record and hearing submissions from Manzunzu’s lawyer Mr Jonas Dondo of Dondo and Partners, threw out the application with costs. The State had applied for a review of the trial magistrate’s decision to acquit Manzunzu. The State’s main reason in the application was that the trial magistrate Mr Clever Tsikwa committed gross irregularities in the proceedings leading to Manzunzu’s acquittal.

It cited the refusal by the trial magistrate to briefly adjourn for three hours to allow a witness to look for documents the witness intended to refer to for purposes of the trial, as a miscarriage of justice.

Tsikwa turned down the request saying “to imagine the witness will look for a document within two hours, which document could not be located in the period of three months is fiction.” The request was therefore dismissed and the trial went on and Manzunzu was eventually acquitted. The NPA was sought that the entire proceedings be squashed and a fresh trial commenced. But Manzunzu's lawyer in opposing the matter argued that the application was filed out of time. He said the rules required that such an application be filed within eight weeks. In this case, the application was made almost 28 weeks after the date of judgment. He also argued that the application was devoid of merit because there were no gross irregularities.[2]


References

  1. Jacob Manzunzu, LinkedIn, published: No Date Given, retrieved: July 26, 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fidelis Munyoro,Botswana High Court Registrar wins case, Herald, published: July 22, 2015, retrieved: July 26, 2017
  3. 3.0 3.1 Charles Laiton,Aspiring Judge nabbed, NewsDay, published: November 4, 2014, retrieved: July 26, 2017,
  4. Paidamoyo Muzulu, 6 more find judges interviews too hot to handle, NewsDay, published: October 28, 2016, retrieved: July 26, 2017
  5. Tarisai Machakaire,Eight vie for Tomana job, Daily News, published: July 24, 2017, retrieved: July 25, 2017,
  6. Fidelis Munyoro,Aspiring Judge arrested in the city, Herald, published: November 1, 2014, retrieved: July 26, 2017