THE prosecutor in the high profile trial of Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa’s alleged attempt to defeat the course of justice has resigned aft
er presiding over numerous cases involving Zanu PF members.
The Zimbabwe Independent is reliably informed that Levison Chikafu, the Manicaland area prosecutor who joined the Attorney-General’s Office 10 years ago, tendered his resignation last week, but was told to give three months’ notice.
Other high profile cases considered hot potatoes which Chikafu has handled include the trial of heads of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) in Manicaland and Rusape, Innocent Chibaya and Dennis Muzariri respectively, as well as those involving Zanu PF MPs Enoch Porusingazi, Fred Kanzama and the party’s central committee member Esau Mupfumi.
Chikafu has also been involved in attempts to bring to court ministers accused of looting the once lucrative Kondozi estate.
Sources said Chikafu, who ruffled feathers during Chinamasa’s trial by saying National Security minister Didymus Mutasa’s “wings must be clipped to the greatest extent”, was being put under pressure by some individuals after presiding over cases of people deemed “sacred cows” in Zanu PF circles.
They said Chikafu now considered prosecuting a “high risk job” in a career that has been characterised by threats and intimidation by war veterans and those in high office.
On Wednesday Chikafu refused to comment.
Earlier this year Chikafu and other prosecutors were intimidated by members of the CIO for behaving like “defence lawyers” while handling the Mutare arms saga.
In his judgement freeing six of the seven accused persons, High Court judge Charles Hungwe lashed out at the state agents and revealed that Chikafu had abandoned his home for fear of his life.
“Mr Chikafu, fearful of the threats by the enraged state agents, did not sleep at his usual place of abode that night,” said the judge.
In April 2003 Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights issued a press statement condemning seven suspected war veterans for intimidating Chikafu after he consented to bail for 17 Movement for Democratic Change members including MDC Mutare North MP Giles Mutsekwa, constituency chairman Patrick Chitaka and the party’s provincial spokesperson Pishai Muchauraya, who had been detained for six days for participating in a mass stayaway.
The lawyers said the group confronted Chikafu at the magistrates court in Mutare after forcing their way into his office demanding to know why he had consented to the bail.
After that incident, there were also reports that then Manicaland governor Oppah Muchinguri had summoned Chikafu to her offices over the same issue but she denied the claims.
Mutasa has also threatened Chikafu with a lawsuit over his remarks in court including claims that the minister would soon be taken to court. He threatened to sue the Zimbabwe Independent for reporting the issue.