Mike Madiro acquitted of stealing Mugabe's beasts

MUTARE - Suspended Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairperson Mike Madiro has been acquitted on allegations of stealing President Robert Mugabe’s 10 cattle.

Mutare provincial magistrate Lucy Anne Mungwari acquitted Madiro after noting that there was insufficient evidence placed before the court to pass a guilty verdict.

“The evidence at hand failed to substantiate the charge of stock theft of 10 beasts being levelled against the accused persons. It however, fits squarely in the realm of disciplinary issues that can be tabled before the party as it is void of any criminal connotations,” Mungwari said in her judgment.

“By failing to report the existence of the beasts to the national Youth League and reporting to the provincial executive instead, the accused might have offended proper reporting and accounting channels.

“However, the evidence does not establish a prima facie case as required by law as such the court is duty bound to discharge the accused persons at the close of the state case and return a verdict of not guilty.

“Accordingly, both accused persons are discharged at the close of the State case and both are found not guilty.”

Madiro, who was jointly charged with his successor Dorothy Mabika, erupted into joy in the dock after the lengthy 12-page ruling was handed down.

Mungwari said she reached the verdict after noting the facts at hand clearly fell short of establishing any intention to permanently deprive the owner of the cattle.

She said the cattle were never taken by the accused, that they never saw them and to date they cannot identify the cattle in question.

“After the purchase of the cattle they remained with the seller and accounting for the cattle to the 21st February Movement or the national youth league at this juncture is immaterial as that is not the charge that the accused persons are facing,” she ruled.

Mungwari said the accused did report to the provincial executive most of who confirmed they knew about the existence of the cattle.

She said the fact that three beats were slaughtered for a Zanu PF function scuttles claims that there was any intention on the part of the accused to permanently deprive Zanu PF of its cattle.

“Intention or mens rea and the act or actus are two very important components in fulfilling a charge of this nature, components which are glaringly absent from the evidence led by the State which allow the State case to gently fall flat in its face,” said Mungwari.

Madiro and Mabika were accused of stock theft emanating from the purchase of 10 herd of cattle for Mugabe’s birthday. The cattle were purchased from Zanu PF member John Chirimambowa.

The cattle were never taken to Mutare from Chirimambowa’s Middle Sabi Farm for the 21st February Movement celebrations last year.

After three cattle were slaughtered at an inter-district meeting, the seller wanted all the cattle moved off his property and took the issue with the media, leading to police investigations.

It is alleged when police investigations commenced, Mabika instructed Zanu PF employees at the provincial office to make insertions to the effect that on December 14, 2012 the issue of the cattle had been discussed.

Mabika, who faces two other counts of stock theft involving six dairy bull calves, had her appeal for discharge at the close of the State case dismissed and would have to put on her defence.

Another appeal on charges of obstructing or defeating the course of justice suffered the same fate and she will be put to her defence.

Appearing before a different magistrate Sekesai Chiundura, Mabika will have to be put to her defence despite appeals from her lawyer Tinofara Hove for the matter to be set aside while it is being reviewed by higher court.

It is alleged Mabika received the calves from dairy farmer Dawid Joubert with the view of handing them to Zanu PF as a donation.

The State alleges Mabika converted the calves to her own use by claiming they had died of lack of supplementary feeding and a shortage of milk.

It is alleged Mabika gave an instruction to Zanu PF provincial employees to alter minutes to indicate it had been noted in past minutes that the calves had been reported dead. - Sydney Saize

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.