Land barons seek removal from remand



THREE Harare men, who are accused of parcelling out State land to desperate homeseekers and swindling them of $1,1 million have filed an application for removal from remand because the State was failing to provide them with a trial date within a reasonable period.

The trio, Andrew Marauka (60), Keri Mhute (67) and Charles Matapo (60), who are represented by David Ngwerume, filed the application before magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa yesterday.

Marauka, Mhute and Matapo, who are facing charges of fraud, had asked the court to remove them from remand, saying there was no progress in the matter for the trial to be carried out.

“Your worship, the investigations of this case started in 2017 and the State kept on saying they are still investigations being carried out. There is no progress in the matter, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is being used by the accused’s detractors to deny the accused person’s liberty,” Ngwerume said.

“There is no prejudice for the State if the accused persons are removed from remand. The liberty of the accused person must always be observed and keeping the accused persons coming to court on remand is prejudicing my clients your worship. The State will always proceed by way of summons.”

But the State represented by Lancelot Mutsokoti opposed the application saying the accused persons were only put on remand two months ago and have no grounds for complaining that their rights were being violated.

He said the fact that the matter started being investigated in 2017 showed that it was a complex matter that needed thorough investigations.

Mutsokoti said the accused persons were still enjoying their liberty as they were not in custody.

Mugwagwa remanded the matter to today for the ruling of the application.

The trio are on free bail.