Nyanga North MDC-T MP and party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora was yesterday issued with a warrant of arrest after failing to attend continuation of his trial at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.
Mwonzora, who is also Constitutional Parliamentary Committee co-chairperson, was expected to appear at the court where he is accused of defrauding Elizabeth Mary Adams of her plot valued at Z$350 million in 2005.
Journalists covering the case were barred from following the proceedings of the matter in court and had to rely on the prosecutor dealing with the matter after regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya ordered them out claiming “his court was full”.
After the adjournment, prosecutor Michael Reza advised the journalists that the matter had been postponed to June 26 this year and Mwonzora’s co-accused Alfred Muchini was remanded to that date.
On the last remand date, 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 MP even though she had already submitted a withdrawal affidavit.
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.
The MP was being jointly charged with his client Muchini, who allegedly bought the disputed plot, and Phillip Shumba, charges against whom were withdrawn by the State.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.