Eight lawyers representing the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) officials accused of defrauding the government of over $10 million in shady diamonds deals are fighting back and on Thursday gave notice of their intention to challenge their clients’ placement on remand.
The lawyers argue there are no reasonable grounds for the six accused persons to be placed on remand because their diamond mining activities were backed by written agreements between Core Mining and ZMDC.
Upon their arrest two weeks ago and subsequent dramatic release, the state made an application for the accused to be placed on remand stating there was clear evidence and reasonable suspicion that the alleged agreements were fraudulently obtained after facts were misrepresented.
The lawyers further notified the state they would next Wednesday apply for the relaxation of bail conditions.
They further applied to the court to have next week’s court proceedings recorded.
Harare provincial magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe who presided over the routine remand proceedings is expected to hear the application next week when the ZMDC chairperson Godwills Masimirembwa goes under cross-examination.
Prosecutor and director of public prosecutions,
Florence Ziyambi, assisted by chief law officer Chris Mutangadura, confirmed the position of the defence to the court and proposed the matter be remanded to November 24.
The six, Lovemore Kurotwi, Dominic Mubaiwa, John Tichaona Muhonde, Gloria Mawarire, Ashton Sibusiso Ndlovu, Mark Tsomondo and Mubaiwa, are out on bail.
According to the state, the accused allegedly acted in common purpose and connived to defraud ZMDC and the government.
The government minerals body (ZMDC) allegedly 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 1 101 980 20 carats of diamonds currently held.
The accused were not asked to plead.