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Magistrate bemoans delays in graft cases


HARARE magistrate Bianca Makwande yesterday bemoaned continued postponement of corruption cases saying the delays were resulting in a gridlock of pending matters at the courts.


She made the remarks after the trial of former NetOne chief executive Lazarus Muchenje failed to kick off because his lawyer argued that he had not been served with all the State papers prior to the commencement of trial.

“This is an anti-corruption case which should be dealt with with urgency. We now have a deadlock of corruption cases here at the courts due to continued postponements of trials,” Makwande said.

On Tuesday, chief magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi threatened to proceed with trial of former University of Zimbabwe Vice-Chancellor Levi Nyagura on Sunday.

Nyagura is facing charges of assisting former First Lady Grace Mugabe to allegedly fraudulently acquire a PhD at the country’s oldest university.

On Wednesday, socialite-cum-businessman Wicknell Chivayo, his company Intratrek and Zimbabwe Power Company chairperson Stanley Chizhanje were given another trial date by magistrate Ngoni Nduna after Chivayo’s lawyer Garikayi Mhishi requested a postponement because the instructed lawyer, Sylvestor Hashiti, had withdrawn his representation.

Makwande remanded Muchenje to December 14, 2020 for trial.

Muchenje is facing criminal abuse of office charges after he allegedly ordered his subordinate, Innocent Mukandatsama, to buy him household furniture using NetOne funds without the board’s approval.

Muchenje also allegedly ordered NetOne to pay more than US$50 000 for his personal security services and also to hire three Toyota Fortuner vehicles for his own use.

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