Friday, 17 June 2022

NO EVIDENCE : LAND DEVELOPER CLEARED OF FRAUD CHARGES

THE National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has declined prosecution in the case of prominent Gweru land developer Dr Smelly Dube who was being accused of fraud in the sale of State land in and around Gweru.

In a memo in possession of Chronicle, the NPA said prosecution was declined due to lack of evidence.

Dr Dube owns vast tracts of land in Gweru, Shurugwi, Zvishavane and Bulawayo under her company, River Valley Properties (Pvt Ltd).

Thousands of homeseekers and businesses have benefited from her serviced residential and commercial stands in the different towns.

Dr Dube was arrested by the Special Anti-Corruption Commission Unit (SACCU) in March last year but the matter has been dragging before the courts.

“An arrest was made and the accused has been found not guilty. Prosecution was declined due to lack of evidence,” reads part of the memo.

Dr Dube, through her legal team, successfully challenged her placement on remand at the Bulawayo High Court which suspended all court proceedings.

In her ruling, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokhuthula Moyo cited unlawful arrest and breach of human rights.

In a press statement released yesterday, Dr Dube’s legal team said they were happy that justice has finally prevailed.

It is with great pleasure to notify the members of the public that our client, Smelly Dube who was arrested and charged with three counts of fraud and alternatively charged with conspiracy to criminal abuse of duty has been exonerated after all charges were dropped,” reads the press statement by Dr Dube’s legal team comprising Advocate Lewis Uriri, Advocate Joshua Chirambwe, Mr MacPatrick Zinyakatira, Mr Esau Mandipa and Mr Nqobani Sithole.

“Justice was done as there was patently no reasonable suspicion that any offence had been committed.”

The legal team said there was no reason to arrest their client as all her transactions were above board and documents to prove this have been availed.

“The withdrawal of the charges is premised on the fact the NPA declined to prosecute on the ground that there was absolutely no evidence that linked our client, Smelly Dube to the commission of an offence after over a year from the date of her arrest. The allegations were rather false and actuated with malice and without any iota to pursue the interests of justice,” further read the statement.

Contacted for comment Dr Dube said justice had prevailed.

“I am happy that now I have been cleared. I appreciate the work done by my legal team but I am even happy that the New Dispensation did not want to involve politics but left it for the courts to prove and today justice won the day. I believe in hard work and my work speaks for itself. I was not deterred. I am even stronger and determined than before,” said the businesswoman who has won several local and international business awards. Chronicle

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