THE officer-in-charge Criminal Investigations Department in Gweru, Detective Inspector Leonard Gwandu, who is facing allegations of releasing a stolen vehicle held as an exhibit, yesterday made an application for discharge after the State closed its case.
BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
Gwandu’s lawyers Nomore Hlabano and Bonface Balamanja said they will file a written application next week on Tuesday, with regional magistrate Pathekile Msipa expected to give her ruling on March 13.
In denying the charges, Gwandu argued that when the purported owner of the vehicle was acquitted, the court was silent on how the car should be disposed of.
He said there was no laid-down police procedure he contradicted when he released the vehicle and challenged the State to prove the existence of such a procedure.
The State alleges that on December 14 last year, Gwandu released a Toyota Hilux, valued at US$27 000, which was confiscated from Kwekwe businessman Shepherd Tundiya after it was allegedly discovered that it had been stolen from South Africa.
Allegations are that Tundiya, who had been arrested on October 16 last year in connection with the motor vehicle, was acquitted at the Gweru Magistrates’ Court on December 13.
The following day, Gwandu allegedly released the stolen vehicle to Tundiya without following due procedure.
The State further alleges that the car was stolen in South Africa from one Thomas Blom of CMH Toyota and was being investigated by police in the neighbouring country under case number 233/11/2017.
The State said the vehicle was supposed to be handed to South African police following due process.