PROPERTY developer-cum-musician Energy Mutodi, who has been on trial for allegedly swindling desperate home seekers of over
$500 000, has applied for discharge, arguing the State erred in criminalising what ought to have been a purely civil matter.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Mutodi is alleged to have lured over 16 000 civil servants to join and contribute to the housing trust before he swindled them of
$588 787 and failed to fulfil his contractual obligations.
Through his lawyer Charles Chinyama, Mutodi said the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against him and as such, he was entitled to an acquittal.
In his submission before the court, Chinyama said special notice should be given to the fact that Mutodi’s alleged crime was committed before adoption of the new Constitution.
“Effectively in terms of Section 49 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, failure to fulfil a contractual obligation cannot lead to the detention or imprisonment of a person and this section needs to be given a wide and generous interpretation,” Chinyama said.
Mutodi is being jointly charged with his firm, National Housing Development Trust, and one of the firm’s trustees Boniface Chikono.