Sunday 5 February 2023


GOKWE-NEMBUDZIYA legislator Justice Mayor Wadyajena and Cottco bosses accused of misappropriating funds meant to purchase bale cables and using the cash to import trucks, have withdrawn their initial application for revocation of their placement on remand and mounted a fresh bid.

Wadyajena is jointly appearing in court with Cottco bosses — Pius Manamike, Maxmore Njanji, Chiedza Danha and Fortunate Molai — on fraud and money laundering charges with two companies, Wadyajena’s Mayor Logistics and Danha’s Pierpoint Moncroix, also charged.

Last Friday, they jointly mounted a fresh bid for revocation of their placement on remand, arguing that there was no docket sufficiently ready for a prosecution decision, as claimed by the State and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).

They also argued that the State and ZACC had failed to update the court on progress regarding investigations since August last year.

If the bid is successful they can still be summoned to court to face trial, but would not longer be on bail or have to follow bail conditions.

The State says the delay in a trial date arises from the need to wait for authorities in three other countries to respond to requests for information.

In the submissions made by lawyer Mr Oliver Marwa, they claimed that the State and ZACC were struggling to process a mutual legal assistance to undertake investigations in the United States.

“It has come to our attention upon enquiry that there is no docket that is ready for perusal with the State,” said Mr Marwa.

Although the investigating officer had said that investigations should be completed by mid-September last year and five witnesses would be lined up for trial, the accused had been on remand at least since 16 August last year with Manamike and Njanji remanded earlier, said Mr Marwa.

“The prosecution and ZACC have not reported to the court in terms of law on progress of their investigations,” he said.

Mr Marwa submitted that it was clear that the State and ZACC were aware of the need to undertake extra-territorial investigations when they requested a month to complete investigations.

The State and ZACC should also visit Mauritius and the Netherlands to undertake some extra-territorial investigations, he added.

Led by Mr Kennedy Madekutsikwa, the State opposed the application, saying the delay to furnish the accused with a trial date was not inordinate.

Mr Madekutsikwa said it would be prejudicial for Wadyajena and his co-accused to be removed from remand as their case was of public interest.

The State’s case against Wadyajena and his co-accused heavily depends on the extra-territorial investigations.

“Our challenge is that we are not the ones to dictate on when the response we seek comes. This is the only thing that is outstanding in this matter,” said Mr Madekutsikwa.

“We assure the court that as soon as we get the responses that were are waiting for, the accused will be furnished with a trial date and the matter will be brought to finality.”

Mr Madekutsikwa told the court that the docket was available, albeit incomplete.

“We will suffer prejudice as this is a matter of national interest,” he said.

“The citizens need to see that justice is done. If accused are released, a wrong signal would be sent to the citizens of this country.

“We need to see the matter to finality while accused are on remand. There is no fear that they will abscond since they are on bail. The accused are said to have transacted with three jurisdictions and without evidence from the three jurisdictions, we have no case.

“That evidence will show where those funds went and the purposes of the funds. That actually forms the basis of the charge the accused are facing and without that evidence, the case will fall.”

Harare regional magistrate Mr Taurai Manwere is expected to make a ruling today. Herald


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