New Zimbabwe.com

Fraud: Mzembi’s remand refusal bid flops

FORMER cabinet minister Walter Mzembi’s application for removal from remand Monday hit a brick wall after a Harare magistrate ruled that there was evidence linking him to the offence.

Mzembi, who is facing several criminal charges, had approached the court last week complaining that the state had no right to prosecute him.

He is accused of swindling $1,6 million which was meant for United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly in 2013.

The event was jointly hosted by Zimbabwe and neighbour Zambia at the Victoria Falls resort.

The ex-minister is denying fraud, but magistrate Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa ruled that the ex-minister should face the trial.

“There is sufficient nexus to connect the accused to the allegations he is facing. He was the minister and was in charge of the conference.

“Even though he was not a signatory to the bank account, he is liable due to doctrine of common cause,” said the judge.

Through his lawyer Job Sikhala, Mzembi had challenged his placement on remand arguing that his case was a matter for international law.

He argued that the UNWTO should be the complainant in his case as such he was wrongfully before the court.

Mzembi is being charged together with tourism and hospitality ministry consultant Aaron Dzingira Mushoriwa, 62, and former ministry permanent secretary Margret Sangarwe, 59.

The three were charged with theft of trust property. They deny the allegations.