Friday, 19 June 2020

US$125K GOLD DEALER DENIED BAIL


A SUSPECTED dealer who was arrested after police raided a house in Killarney suburb, Bulawayo and recovered 2,78 kilogrammes of gold worth more than US$125 000 hidden in a safe has been denied bail.

Talent Mumpande (28) of Hillside suburb who is facing charges of possession of gold without a permit in violation of the Gold Trade Act, appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Shepherd Munjanja and was remanded in custody to June 25 for trial.

Mumpande, through his lawyer, Mr Lawrence Chikwakwa of Sansole and Senda Legal Practitioners, had applied for bail pending trial, arguing that there were no compelling reasons proffered by the State warranting his continued detention.

Mr Munjanja dismissed the application, saying there was no guarantee that if released on bail, Mumpande would not abscond given that he has a previous conviction. 

“The accused person has propensity to commit similar offence given that he produced an expired permit. He has a previous conviction after he was in March 2020 fined $34 569 or two years in jail for illegal possession of gold,” said the magistrate.

Mr Munjanja said the State has a strong case against Mumpande.

“Accused person has a strict liable offence and he is likely to flee if released on bail and accordingly, the application for bail pending trial is dismissed,” ruled the magistrate.

His lawyer, Mr Chikwakwa had dismissed the State’s assertion that his client was likely to abscond if released on bail. 

“Your Worship, all the country’s borders are closed due to Covid-19 pandemic making it impossible for my client to skip. In fact, he harbours no intentions of skipping the borders and has no record of border jumping and the State has failed to substantiate its claims in that regard,” he said.

The prosecutor, Mr Terrence Chakabuda opposed the bail, saying the accused person was likely to abscond as the State has a strong prima facie case against him.

Mr Chakabuda said on June 15 at around 12.40PM, acting on a tip off, five detectives went to a house in Killarney where Mumpande kept the gold.

“Detective Assistant Inspector Ndlovu, Detective Sergeant Maramwidze, Detective Sergeant Jonhera, Detective Sergeant Chiripano and Detective Constable Chagweda all stationed at CID Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit crack team based in Harare, received information that Mumpande was dealing in gold at a house in Killarney. Acting on that information, the detectives proceeded to the given address and upon arrival they introduced themselves to the accused person,” he said.

Mumpande led the police into the house to conduct the search. They searched the dining room first before proceeding to the bedroom where they asked him to open a safe. 

The court heard that when Mumpande opened the safe, detectives found a neatly wrapped plastic bag 2,78 kilogrammes of gold valued at US$125 477.

Mumpande was asked to produce a license authorising him to possess the gold and he produced an expired permit leading to his arrest.

In his application for bail through his lawyer, Mr Chikwakwa, Mumpande argued that there were no compelling reasons proffered by the State warranting his continued detention.

Mr Chikwakwa dismissed the State’s assertion that his client was likely to abscond if released on bail.

“Your Worship, all the country’s borders are closed due to Covid-19 pandemic making it impossible for my client to skip. In fact, he harbours no intentions of skipping the borders and has no record of border jumping and the State has failed to substantiate its claims in that regard,” he said.

Mr Chikwakwa said the accused person is innocent until proven guilty and has a constitutional right to bail pending trial.

Mr Chakabuda opposed the bail, saying the accused person was likely to abscond as the State has a strong prima facie case against him. Chronicle

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