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Politician acquitted of fraud

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A former MDC99 top official David Sabola was yesterday acquitted on charges of defrauding a 77-year-old Gweru resident of her house.

Sabola — former secretary for international relations for the Job Sikhala-led MDC99 — was accused of defrauding Patricia Anne Phillips of her Gweru house after a transaction the two entered into sometime between June 2009 and March this year.

But the politician was yesterday set free by Gweru magistrate Vakai Douglas Chikwekwe after the State failed to prove its allegations.

The court heard that sometime between June 2009 and March 2011, Phillips sold her house in Athlone suburb to Sabola and signed agreement of sale documents in the presence of a Zimbabwe Republic Police official.

But, Phillips later reneged on the deal after realising she had undervalued the house and accused Sabola of using forged documents to obtain transfer of title deeds for the property.

“I don’t see how the children of the complainant, a teacher and driver, could append their signatures to an agreement of sale without knowledge of what is contained in that agreement,” Chikwekwe said.

“Besides, the lawyer of the complainant testified in court that he was instructed by his client to draft this agreement of sale. I see no reason why the lawyer would turn against his client.

“Moreover, a senior police officer also testified in court that the complainant and accused made a declaration in his presence when they made the agreement of sale. There was no fraud involved and the accused is acquitted on these charges,” he said. Sabola was represented by Hillary Garikayi while Bonwell Balamanja prosecuted.

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