A senior Zanu PF official from Matabeleland North, John Roberts Khumalo, facing theft charges had his case further remanded to February 2 after his lawyer failed to turn up in court where he was expected to apply for discharge.
On January 11, Khumalo (57), through his lawyer Solomon Mguni of Hwalima, Moyo and Associates, argued State-led evidence failed to prove a crime against him. He requested the court to allow him to apply for discharge at the close of the State case. Khumalo is Zanu PF provincial secretary for legal affairs.
Prosecutor Sanders Sibanda had completed giving State-led evidence on the matter after all witnesses had testified.
Lupane magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba adjourned the matter to February 2 and warned Khumalo that if his lawyer absconded again, the court would proceed with the trial in his absence. Khumalo is facing charges of theft of two diesel-powered community engines worth $7 600.
He is out of custody on $100 bail.
Khumalo has pleaded not guilty to the charges.