Charges politically-motivated: Machaya

HARARE - Former minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Jaison Machaya, who is facing abuse of office charges, has approached the High Court seeking to quash his prosecution.

In the application, Machaya is arguing that the charges he is facing are politically-motivated.

Machaya told the court that he was arraigned before the court for allegedly contravening Section 174 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

He said he was arrested and detained in custody before being released on bail.

“It is clear that the charges came soon after I was removed from office as the minister of State for the Midlands Province and was politically-motivated. There is no iota of the nexus between the purported allegations and myself at all,” he said in his application.

“I have appeared at court on more than 14 times now and to this day no trial date has been set, let alone investigations been completed,” he added.

Machaya is jointly charged with Chibururu Chisainyerwa and are accused of unlawfully taking 1 000 stands that had been allocated to the Local Government ministry by the Gokwe Town Council.

They reportedly offered the stands to Striations World Marketing (Private) Limited Company, which later sold the stands to members of the public, thereby prejudicing the State of $900 000.

However, in his application for stay of prosecution, Machaya said the State has no evidence to support its case.

He said he has made several applications for refusal of remand, as it was clear that he will not be prosecuted any time soon because the State does not have evidence against him.

Cited as the respondents in Machaya’s application is the prosecutor only cited as Mhene, the trial magistrate, only identified as Mazungula and (acting) Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi.

“I have no doubt that my arrest was politically-motivated and that I am being persecuted in order for the first and third respondents (Mhene and Hodzi) to meet some other personal appetites which have nothing to do with achieving the best ends of justice.

“I am advised which advice I accept, that in terms of Section 69 of the Constitution as read together with Section 86 (3) (e) of the Constitution, the respondents have violated my right to be tried within a reasonable time,” he said.

He said in terms of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, a reasonable period within which a case can be brought to trial is six months. He said his case has taken almost 12 months and he has not yet seen any prospects of being tried anytime soon.

“I have failed to do anything for the past period because I am subjected to tormenting reporting conditions and other stringent limiting conditions in grave violation of my rights.

“I have no doubt that the only way the violation could be cured is by this court granting this application for permanent stay of prosecution so that we give value to the bill of rights,” Machaya said.