Discrepancies between testimony of State witnesses and the contents of indictment and summary of case (Zimbabwe)

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Where there are discrepancies between the contents of the indictment, the summary of the State case and the preamble to X's warned and cautioned statement on the one hand and the evidence given by State witnesses on the other, the court will consider whether the discrepancies are material and essential and whether X has been prejudiced in the conduct of his defence by the discrepancies. Although the summary of the State case should be an accurate summary of what is contained in the Police docket and not a figment of the imagination of the policeman who prepared the summary, it should be treated on the same basis as an Outline of Defence which has been prepared on the instructions of X. A State witness has no control over what the policeman compiling the summary decides to include in the Summary as being relevant. Therefore the credibility of a State witness will not be destroyed simply because there are apparent conflicts between his testimony and the summary on matters which are not essential to establish the offence alleged. If, however, there are discrepancies between the summary and the evidence of a State witness on matters essential to establish the offence charged, then unless a satisfactory explanation is proffered, it cannot be said that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt: Dube S-225-92 at p 5.

However, in Chigova S-177-92 at p 12 it was stated that:



See Zimbabwe Criminal Defense Manual