Mohadis case hangs in the balance


Gwanda magistrate Sheila Nazombe yesterday threatened to set free the four villagers locked in a land dispute with Home Affairs co-minister Kembo Mohadi’s son, Campbell Junior, after the State indicated it was not yet ready to proceed with the trial.

The prosecution claimed the docket on the matter was in Bulawayo.

Given Mbedzi, Soforia Ndou, Jameson Mbedzi, Alifa Nare, Knowledge Muleya and Given’s mother, Philani Ndou, were arrested last year over allegations of malicious damage to property after they tampered with locks and doors installed by Mohadi’s 22-year-old son at a disputed farm in Beitbridge.

The Mohadis are pushing for their son to take over the farm ahead of the villagers who claim to have been allocated the property in 2003.

Mohadi’s son claims he was offered the farm in 2009.
The trial was scheduled to start yesterday, but was further deferred to April 30 after State counsel Mazwi Goto told the court the docket was at the Bulawayo High Court.

The villagers’ lawyer Zibusiso Ncube had applied for refusal of further remand, but Goto indicated the State would be ready to proceed with the trial on April 20.

Ncube told the court his clients were being held to ransom as they were losing a lot of money and being subjected to trauma as they were always thinking of what would happen to them.

“Failure to go to trial on the next remand date means that the accused will be removed from remand.

“The State had two months to put its papers in order, but the defence is saying they haven’t been furnished with State papers. This is the last chance I am giving you, the State,” ruled Nazombe.

The villagers have not been asked to plead to the charges and were further remanded to April 30.

Last month, High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha granted the villagers a provisional reprieve and declared them the rightful owners of the farm.