Mwonzora acquitted on fraud charges

HARARE - MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora has been acquitted by a Harare magistrate on two fraud charges he has been facing since 2005.

Mwonzora and Alfred Muchini appeared before Magistrate Hosea Mujaya, with Obi Mabawana representing the state.

The trial took place on Tuesday. The state called in five witnesses to testify against Mwonzora on the fraud charges.

The alleged fraud happened from May 21 to July 7, 2005.

Mwonzora who is also the mainstream MDC MP for Nyanga North, and a practising lawyer faced charges of defrauding a Masvingo widow, Elizabeth Mary Adams, 55, of her plot in 2005 which was worth 350 million Zimbabwean dollars.

He was being charged along with his client Alfred Muchini, who allegedly bought the disputed plot.

It was the state case that Mwonzora intended to defraud Adams and lied to her that he had registered the estate at the High court and he was the acting executor of Elizabeth’s late husband Alvin Roy Adams.

He allegedly had the mandate to sell the property to Muchini.

On the second count, the state alleged that on November 4, 2005 Mwonzora and Muchini intended to defraud Daveson Chaturuka a Revenue Specialist with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) in Masvingo by means of presenting a forged memorandum of agreement of sale between Adams and Muchini for sale of her plot in Masvingo.

They were purporting that it was done on January 7, 2005, with the purchase price being Z$150 million, whereas the agreement of sale was done on July 7, 2005 with purchase price being Z$350 million and by means of this misrepresentation the accused prejudiced the Zimra capital gains amounting to Z$30 million.

Mwonzora said: “I have always been innocent, I am happy that justice has been done and these were politically-motivated charges against me to disturb my work and responsibility in MDC and Copac,” he said after the acquittal.

Mwonzora was represented by Dumisani Kufaruwenga of Dzimba, Jaravadza and Associates.

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