Magistrate declares witness hostile in Mutumbuka case
HARARE – Harare Magistrate Ethel Chichera has today declared Lynna Mlambo, a supervisor in the Registrar of Deeds Office, a hostile witness after she changed her statement in court.
The ruling was made after Mlambo changed her statement during cross-examination on Thursday.
Mlambo is a key witness in a case in which three suspects are facing charges of forging title deeds to former Minister of Education Dr Dzingai Mutumbuka’s US$600 000 Chisipite House in Harare before selling it for US$140 000 but only US$45 000 was paid.
The house was sold to Harrisson Marange and his wife Demetria Zirenga.
By being declared hostile, it means that Mlambo will be impeached and her evidence disregarded. She may also be arrested for giving a false statement to the Police.
During cross-examination at Harare Magistrates Court, Mlambo accused Police of threatening her and making her first statement under duress.
Mlambo told Police that she pulled out Mutumbuka’s title deed from the Deeds Office and handed it over to her boyfriend Prosper Bizwark who is one of the suspects. Bizwark kept the deed for a week before returning it after changing the name ownership into Jonah Ngome’s name who is at large.
However, Mlambo changed her statement in court on Thursday and said she did not know the suspects forcing Prosecutor Zebediah Bofu to ask the magistrate to declare her a hostile witness.
In her statement to the Police, she admitted giving the document to Bizwark who kept it at home for a week before returning it to the Deeds Office.
Magistrate Chichera postponed the matter and the trial is expected to continue on February 27, 2024, and the Registrar of Companies and Deeds is expected to testify on that day.
After forging the title deed in the name of Jonah Ngome who is at large, Bizwark and Tatenda Wakatama advertised the Chisipite home for sale.