Mwonzora 2005 fraud case dropped

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Nyanga North MDC-T MP and party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora walked out of Harare Magistrates’ Courts a free man on Monday after regional magistrate Simon Rogers Kachambwa refused to further remand him for a 2005 fraud charge he was facing.

This was after Mwonzora’s trial failed to kick off because key State witness, Elizabeth Mary Adams, defaulted. Adams had accused Mwonzora, who is also the co-chair of the Constitutional Parliamentary Committee, of defrauding her of a plot then valued at Z$350 million.

Prosecutor Obi Mabahwana sought to have the matter postponed to another date after applying for a warrant of arrest against his witness, but Mwonzora’s lawyer, Dumisani Kufaruwenga, opposed the postponement.

Kufaruwenga argued there was no guarantee Adams would be located and accused the State of trying to force the witness to testify against the Legislature even though she had already submitted a withdrawal affidavit.

Magistrate Kachambwa then said in his brief ruling: “It is not in the interest of justice to keep accused (Mwonzora) on remand when it is clear the public prosecutor’s house is not in order. Further remand is hereby refused.”

Initially, Mwonzora’s trial was supposed to be held in Masvingo by provincial magistrate Oliver Mudzongachisvo, but he recused himself and the matter was transferred to the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.

Mwonzora is accused of defrauding Adams (55) of her Masvingo plot in 2005.

The MP was being jointly charged with his client Alfred Muchini, who allegedly bought the disputed plot, and Phillip Shumba, whose charges were withdrawn by the State.

It is alleged the Adams family sold their four-and-a- half-hectare plot in Glynham which belonged to their late father Elvin Roy Adams to Muchini and the money was placed in a trust account pending finalisation of the deal.

Mwonzora allegedly drew up the agreement of sale and efforts by Adams to get her money proved fruitless, prompting her to report to police.