THE trial of Upenyu Mashangwa and three others before magistrate Noel Mupeiwa yesterday took a new twist when defence counsel Dumisani Mtombeni played an audio recording of a man purporting to instruct one of the accused to incriminate the accused in his police statement.
Mtombeni introduced the clip while cross-examining Admire Mango, the complainant in the case in which Mashangwa, Cosmas Mushaninga, Kudakwashe Larry Mapfumo and Clifford Tinashe Gonde allegedly defrauded Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries of $116 000 in a botched deal to import a Land Rover Discovery 4 from South Africa.
Mtombeni asked Mango if he could recognise PHD leader Walter Magaya’s voice if he was speaking in a different room without seeing him.
Mango responded he could.
Defence counsel then played an audio clip in which a man with a deep voice was heard saying: “You should change your statement and say the $80 000 that I gave Mashangwa was done by Admire Mango, do you hear that?”
In the recording, there was also a voice of a woman pleading that Mushaninga should not be arrested.
Mtombeni then asked Mango if he knew the voice.
“That is not the voice of Prophet Magaya,” Mango responded.
The defence lawyer then asked Mango if he could lie on behalf of Magaya if he was asked to.
“I don’t lie. I am a Christian and lying is not permitted,” Mango shot back.
The defence counsels, Mtombeni and Tafadzwa Hungwe, tried to convince Mango that he was asked to be the complainant on behalf of Magaya.
But Mango insisted that he was the complainant.
Mtombeni then indicated to the court that he would introduce four more other audio clips which would prove that Mango was not a reliable witness.
The trial is set to continue today with the second State witness Gilbert Mafusire taking to the stand.
Liberty Gono is prosecuting for the State.