Mat–North senior Zanu PF official granted $100 bail

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A senior Zanu PF official in Matabeleland North who was recently nabbed for allegedly stealing three communitys diesel powered engines worth $6 000 in Jotsholo area was on Wednesday granted $100 bail by a Lupane magistrate after having been locked up for almost a week.

John Robert Khumalo (57), who resides at the ministry of transport camp in Lupane and is a provincial Zanu PF Secretary for legal affairs, was not asked to plead to theft charges when he appeared before Lupane magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba to apply for bail.

The magistrate granted him $100 bail and remanded the case to September 29.

Last week the state had opposed his bail application which he made through his lawyer, Solomon Mguni of Hwalima, Moyo and Associates.

The magistrate turned down the application on the grounds that his release would jeopardise investigations.

On Friday, police revealed to the state counsel that they had recorded statements from some of the key witnesses, hence the state allowed Khumalo to be granted bail.

The magistrate also considered his health condition as he was unwell.

The magistrate ordered Khumalo not to interfere with key witnesses until the case is finalised.

The court heard that in 2008 in Manganga and Kwarayi area in Jotsholo where Khumalo was a ward councillor, a non-governmental organisation called Noradi donated three water pump Lister diesel engines to the community for a cattle-rearing pilot project.

It is the state case that due to vandalism of public property in the area, the engines were removed and kept by a villager at his home.

Khumalo allegedly went to the villager and asked for the engines on the pretext that he wanted to take them for repairs. He is alleged to have sold them to three different people.

The state alleged that one of the engines allegedly sold to one Buster Willy Magwizi has since been recovered. This then led to the arrest of Khumalo. Tawanda Sigauke prosecuted.