ZANU PF youth director Francis Hungwe has been acquitted on charges of contravening the Immigration Act by providing a Chinese national with a forged resident permit.
by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Hungwe, who was represented by Admire Rubaya, was discharged by Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe at the close of the State’s case last Friday when the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against him.
Hungwe was denying the charge, arguing that the offence had been committed by his party colleague, Fidelis Fengu, who has since been convicted and sentenced for the same crime.
“After the close of the State case, the court is convinced that the prosecution has failed to prove a prima facie case and, therefore, there is no need to put the accused to his defence. You are, therefore, discharged and since you had pleaded not guilty, you are acquitted,” Mahwe ruled.
Prosecutor Francesca Mukumbiri led evidence from two witnesses.
The first witness, Guo Yongiu, a director of Plastics and Pipes Industry, told the court he knew Hungwe as a Zanu PF member who used to solicit donations for the party’s welfare.
“I know him from the time they came asking for fuel and accommodation assistance used in running the party affairs,” Guo said.
He added that in July when Hungwe came seeking a donation, that is when he was told of Xu Sheikeng, who needed a resident permit.
“I told Hungwe about my business partner who needed a resident permit as he could assist since he was connected,” he added.
He, however, under cross-examination conceded he did not see the money exchanging hands or who brought the forged permit.
The investigating officer had a torrid time as he relied on hearsay evidence and a purported admission by the accused during interrogation.