Mabika's lawyer cites politics in stocktheft case

MUTARE - Suspended Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairperson Dorothy Mabika’s lawyer Tinofara Hove on Wednesday made a court application before Mutare magistrate Sekesai Chiwundura for the discharge of his client at the close of the State case.

The lawyer cited a hidden political agenda aimed at embarrassing the accused and lack of evidence.

Hove in his application said it was a “classic case of political prosecution.”

“This case is not so much about justice as it is about politics. This clearly emerges from the fact that there was never an official complaint lodged by Zanu PF Manicaland provincial executive,” argued Hove in his application.

Mabika is facing an allegation of stocktheft arising from September 7, 2011 and at Shiriyakangwara Farm, Mt Selinda in Chipinge where he received six dairy bull calves on behalf of Zanu PF.

She received the donation from farmer Dawid Hercules Jourbet which she unlawfully and with intent to steal converted to her own use, thereby committing the crime of stocktheft.

On the second count of defeating or obstructing the course of justice, Mabika allegedly unlawfully and intentionally altered minutes of the Zanu PF Manicaland provincial meeting held on November 21, 2011.

It is alleged Mabika altered the minutes well knowing that police officers were investigating a case of stocktheft arising from her receiving six calves.

Mabika is alleged to have instructed Angawashe Nelia Maenda and Lucy Golowa to manipulate the provincial executive minutes to reflect that the six donated calves had died due to lack of stock feed and supplementary milk whereas the accused had stolen the said calves.

In his application for discharge Hove states that there is a hidden political agenda to persecute Mabika on the evidence of Didymus Mutasa, the Zanu PF secretary for administration who was a key state witness in the case.

The lawyers argued that Mutasa was quoted in court on record when he said; “when two bull elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.”

“Clearly, the accused is the grass that is suffering because two bulls are fighting. It has nothing to do with the attainment of justice.

Hove continued; “Ngaangwarewo”, a quote from Mutasa in court referring to Mabika meant that when the two bulls are fighting she should be clever.

The defence lawyer said in his application that since Mutasa in his evidence said he knew the calves had died at Mabika’s farm there could be no case of stock theft.

He said most importantly there was no explanation why the matter had been reported with an impending election on a matter which occurred in 2011.

Hove further argues in his application for discharge that it was Mabika who notified the provincial executive of the donation of six calves and could not have stolen them after such a notification of their existence.

The defence lawyer said even in Mutasa’s evidence it is clear that he never lodged a complaint with the police to the effect that the Zanu PF Manicaland provincial executive had been deprived of the calves.

“Zanu PF did not make a formal report with the police and also how could one steal calves that would have died,” argued Hove in his application for discharge at the close of the State case.

On count two of defeating or obstruction of justice, Hove argued that the State was desperate as it was fully aware that there was no case of stocktheft but that the calves had died proceeded to charge Mabika of obstruction of justice.

Hove said if the accused subjectively did not know that she was being investigated, or objectively could not have known, then the offence cannot be committed.

He said the accused was not present during the meeting of November 21, 2011 and therefore could not have inserted the notes as alleged and in addition she was not the one who inserted the minutes.

It was Maenda, who has a political agenda against the accused who made the physical insertion.

“There is no offence that was committed, neither has the State established a prima facie case against the accused. To place the accused on her defence will be tantamount to asking her to convict herself from her own mouth,” said Hove in his application.

Hove said the key witness Mutasa had a clear motive in the prosecution of Mabika; that is to ensure she is removed from the Zanu PF leadership of Manicaland Province; and also to ensure that she does not stand in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

“The motive is to embarrass the accused politically and tarnish her name,” said Hove.

Mutare magistrate Sekesai Chiwundura is expected to a make a ruling on the application on June 19, 2013. - Sydney Saize

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