The six senior officials from the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) and Canadile Miners (Private) Limited who were arrested last week appeared in court on Monday facing charges of fraud and criminal abuse of office.
Their court appearance was marked by a spectacular show of lawyers, all eight of them, including some of the country’s top legal minds, trooping into the court house to fight for the liberty of the alleged diamond fraudsters.
They were all applying for refusal of placement of their clients on remand.
Lovemore Kurotwi (40) was represented by four lawyers, Advocate Louis Uriri, George Chikumbirike, Shingai Mutumbwa and Belinda Rupapa.
Dominic Mubayiwa (49) was represented by Advocate Louis Uriri.
John Tichaona Muhonde (33) was represented by Bruce Mujeyi while Gloria Mawarire (39) was represented by Jonathan Samkange.
Ashton Sibusiso Ndlovu (48) was represented by Mordecai Mahlangu while Mark Tsomondo (53) was represented by Melina Machiya.
The six appeared before provincial magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe who remanded them in custody to today to enable the state to respond to the application by the lawyers seeking refusal of remand.
According to the State outline, the six accused persons allegedly acted in common purpose and connived to defraud ZMDC and therefore government.
ZMDC suffered an actual prejudice of $10 546 160,22 being 50% of the 417 016,40 carats sold and a potential prejudice of $33 059 406 being 50% of the 1101 980,20 carats of diamonds currently held.
Meanwhile the State on Monday closed its case in the trial of Temba Mliswa, who is facing charges of issuing death threats to a Harare businessman whose company he allegedly attempted to wrest.
His lawyer Charles Chinyama will on Tuesday apply for Mliswa’s discharge arguing there is no sufficient evidence against the former Warriors fitness trainer.
Mliswa pleaded not guilty and denied ever threatening Paul Westwood, owner of a motor spares company he allegedly attempted to grab.
Ruling in the matter is expected on November 24.