Mzila-Ndlovu slams Zanu PF after acquittal

BULAWAYO - Former National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu has slammed President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF for crafting trumped-up charges against him.

Mzila-Ndlovu, who is also a senior member in the MDC led by Welshman Ncube, was speaking to journalists soon after he was acquitted of robbery and theft charges by Bulawayo regional magistrate Trynos Utawashe.

Magistrate Utawashe acquitted Mzila-Ndlovu citing failure by the State to prove a prima facie case against the accused.

He also cited inconsistencies in the evidence provided to the court by the two State witnesses, Vupenyu Gumbo and Lucky Dube.

“How do you subject a person to a trial like this on flimsy charges if not trumped-up and I know that they were trumped-up because people involved were members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)”, Mzila Ndlovu claimed.

“These two workers who came to give evidence in the court are former employees of the CIO and once a CIO, always a CIO.”

The former Bulilima-West legislator said the “persecution” was just but a strategy to weaken him politically.

“Just because I resisted with my property that it cannot be taken, so Zanu PF wanted to weaken me economically to say if you think you can survive on ranching, we are going to destroy you there,” he said.

“Of the 16 reported cases of stock theft, none of them has ever been brought to court. It shows you that Zanu PF through their members in the security structures is involved in my persecution,” he told journalists.

“Of course I may be happy that finally I am acquitted but precisely this has served to derail me in my political work. I am happy about it but it is clear that in the first place it was never supposed to have happened, particularly being brought about by my political foes.”

According to State papers, on April 11 last year at about 5pm, Mzila-Ndlovu came across Gumbo and Dube poaching firewood at his Magazine Farm near Mbokodo along the Bulawayo-Plumtree Road.

The court was told that Mzila-Ndlovu pointed his .303 rifle at Gumbo and Dube demanding their property and induced the complainant to surrender a driver’s licence, business cards, Samsung cell phone E250, cash amounting to $365 and keys to Dube’s house.

He allegedly ordered the two men to lie down at gunpoint and to produce their identification particulars.
Vupenyu took out his wallet in order to hand over his licence.

However, Mzila-Ndlovu allegedly grabbed the wallet, which had $365, a driver’s licence and three business cards.

Mzila-Ndlovu also allegedly demanded their cell phones.

Vupenyu gave him his phone while Dube had none, but had his house keys taken, the court was told.

Mzila-Ndlovu allegedly later directed the two complainants to load the firewood onto their vehicle and follow him to his house and they pretended to follow him, but diverted and drove towards Emganwini Police Station and made a report.

The two allegedly went back to the scene of the crime in the company of the police, but it was already dark.

Mzila-Ndlovu was arrested on May 19 and property worth only $62 was recovered and the firearm was seized by the State and sent to the Forensic Ballistics for examination.

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