Mwonzora's theft trial deferred

HARARE - A Harare magistrate has said that the State should first put its house in order before bringing Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC spokesperson, for trial on theft of trust property charges dating back to 2006.

Mwonzora was back in the dock yesterday for the commencement of his trial.

However, his lawyer Eric Matinenga raised preliminary issues, claiming the State was unnecessarily splitting Mwonzora’s charges, which are based on the same circumstances.

He said when the matter was last heard on December 10, the State preferred a single charge against Mwonzora, yet yesterday, the prosecution had added a further count following amendments.

Matinenga said trial cannot proceed with the charges structured in such a convoluted way.

He said the transactions were done using the Zimbabwean dollars and the exchange rate into United States dollars by the State was not clear. Regional magistrate Fadzai Mthombeni postponed the matter to January 16 for trial, after giving the State one last chance to put its house in order.

“State should have a clear position on the charge or charges it prefers against the accused person. The State papers are not in order,” Mthombeni said.

She said she was “shocked and surprised” that the matter had not been tried, after it was previously referred to the Constitutional Court, on the basis that prosecution had failed to commence within a reasonable time. According to State papers, the complainant in the case is Everson Shepherd Dandadzi.

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

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

In August of the same year, Matongo made two separate cheque payments through Dandadzi’s bank account, the court was told. 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.

After the cancellation of the agreement, Mwonzora did not remit the money, thereby prejudicing Dandadzi.

Comments (2)

Trust Funds are based on a relationship of Trust, hatidi kushandisa ruzivo rwedu kubira vamwe, Dougie akaba mari ngaaende mujeri and we will gladly have him off the register

Don Wezhira - 20 December 2013

Dougie dougie shasha shasha inga wani shamwari yako Chirumbwana akafa

Colonel - 20 December 2013

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