Rushwaya engages new lawyer

HARARE - Former Zifa boss Henrietta Rushwaya has engaged a new lawyer after a Harare magistrate ruled that her previous lawyers were “taking the court for a ride”.

This followed the continuous postponement of the case at the lawyers’ instance.

Rushwaya’s lawyer Dumisani Mthombeni, standing in for Jonathan Samkange, excused himself from the case on Tuesday following the dismissal of an application for postponement by magistrate Esthere Chivasa.

Rushwaya, who is facing nine counts of corruptly concealing a transaction from a principal, is now being represented by Charles Chinyama.

Mthombeni had argued that it was impossible to continue with the trial before the outcome of an application they filed at the High Court seeking review of a magistrate’s decision to dismiss their exception to the charges in August.

However, Mthombeni was present yesterday to represent Rushwaya.

He told the court that the lead counsel Samkange was handling other cases at the High court, before seeking another postponement.

He also said the defence wanted adequate time to prepare for trial.

The state, represented by Sidom Chinzete and Oliver Marwa, said the defence had not shown “sufficient cause on why the case must be postponed”.

“There is a disservice that is being done to the accused and the court should know the State is not part of the disservice. It is very clear we are being taken for a ride.

‘‘Even a street kid will smell a rat in these circumstances,” said Marwa.

Magistrate Chivasa concurred with the state and said there was “no legal basis” warranting the postponement of the case.

Rushwaya’s trial failed to kick off after being postponed on several occasions.

According to state papers, Rushwaya organised several national football team matches outside the country between 2007 and 2010 without advising her principals.

The trial is expected to continue on November 19. - Tendai Kamhungira

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