Mwonzora to face trial

HARARE - Douglas Mwonzora, the mainstream MDC spokesperson, is to face trial over a 2006 case after the Constitutional Court yesterday dismissed his application for the quashing of charges.

Mwonzora had argued that prosecution delays had infringed upon his constitutionally-enshrined rights.

Mwonzora’s lawyers Trust Maanda and Jeremiah Bamu had made the Constitutional Court application, arguing the delay in commencing the trial had prejudiced their client’s case.

According to state papers, the complainant in the case is Everson Shepherd Dandadzi.

Mwonzora faced criminal charges after failing to reimburse funds to Dandadzi after an aborted sell of a house.

Maanda told the court Mwonzora’s bank had advised him that it was unable to provide him with a bank statement, which would assist him in proving his innocence.

However, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku said the application had nothing to do with prejudice but the delay, which could have reasonably infringed upon Mwonzora’s fundamental rights.

Chidyausiku said the magistrate who handled the application for referral to the Constitutional Court should have dismissed the request as “frivolous and vexatious”.

He said the state also messed-up by allowing the matter to be referred to the Constitutional Court, arguing that the defence had made no meaningful submissions in support of the application.

Prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba said  bank statements were available.

“The question of delay cannot be substantiated. The delay cannot be attributed to the state,” Nyazamba said, adding that the prescription period within which a case can be brought to trial from the time of arrest is 20 years.

Maanda withdrew the application, but Nyazamba urged the court to dismiss the request and have the matter brought back to the magistrates’ court for trial.

Allegations against Mwonzora arose in 2006 after Dandadzi sold a piece of land in Mabelreign, Harare.

The court was told that one Stephen Chitongo bought the piece of land, which was valued at Z$4 billion.

It is alleged in August of the same year, Matongo made two separate cheque payments through Dandadzi’s bank account.

It is alleged Dandadzi was not happy with the delay in payment of the last instalment  arguing that it had been eroded by inflation.

The two had disagreements resulting in Dandadzi instructing Mwonzora to cancel the agreement of sale.

According to state papers, after the cancellation of the agreement Mwonzora did not remit the money, thereby prejudicing Dandadzi.

Comments (8)

The problem is Mugabe wants political prisoners. Please people stop supporting Zanupf businesses

mukorekore - 26 September 2013

What has Mugabe got to do with Mwonzora's alleged theft? Mugabe was not involved when the alleged theft occurred, neither did he put the 20 year period within which a matter can be brought to court. Mhosva hairovi.

chauruka - 27 September 2013

mhosva inorova if you are zanupf, how come Chinotimba butchered people but is a hero, so is Goche and Kasukuwere.

mukorekore - 27 September 2013

A question of judiciary independence. From elections and back to an old 2006 case , ZANU PF through the judiciary is still fighting MDC leadership. When will this stop?

Zvakaoma - 27 September 2013

I'ts useful to know who is who in politics and the legal profession - whether they are honest or hypocrites. So let the trial go ahead.

Joe Cool - 30 September 2013

Politics is a dirty game ones in there check your moves properly. Mwonzora has clearly embarked on theft and arrest can result him to exposure of sorts of danger . shame

komo - 30 September 2013

So its ok for Mwonzora to commit a crime? I dont understand why some people seem to be suggesting that Mwonzora is being victimised. If you and I did the same we'd certainly find ourselves in court or even doing jail time. Let the moron explain nokuti akaba.

chenhamo - 2 October 2013

These are Mugabe`s tricks to try and divert MDC.T`s post polls plans. Now all focus will be at the courts and nothing else. There shall be more MDC .T members arrests.

Gukula - 3 October 2013

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.