By Mary Taruvinga
HIGH Court judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda Friday freed a Detective Assistant Inspector Thomas Mabgwe who is facing bribery charges on a $10 000 bail.
In granting bail, the judge ruled the state’s case was very weak and a reasonable magistrate should have freed him on bail.
Mabgwe was denied bail by Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna two weeks ago after he ruling the accused was likely to interfere with investigations if freed on bail.
As part of the bail conditions, Kwenda ordered Mabgwe to continue residing at his current address, report twice a week to the police, and surrender his passport.
According to the State, Mabgwe, who is attached to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters, was allocated two residential stands in Sandton Park, Mt Hampden, in September 2015 to cover up and offer protection to Delatfin Investments owner Felix Munyaradzi’s alleged illegal land deals.
“In my view the allegations of bribery are far-fetched. The facts as presented to me are weak and the trial court ought to have taken that into account,” ruled Kwenda.
“I am satisfied that the trial court misdirected itself in failing to appreciate that the allegations did not disclose the offence. I am not told that the appellant was investigating the Delatfin matter neither was the CID. I do not see how in the circumstances there would be any need to bribe him,” he said.
“State, what went wrong here? What wrong did the appellant do? I know you have preferred bribery but what is it that he was supposed to do that he was bribed not to do? I am trying to find a connection between the appellant and the crime that Delatfin was committing.”
The state alleges Mabgwe was given a bribe by Munyaradzi to protect the businessman from pending criminal charges. Munyaradzi is currently in remand prison in connection with shady housing stands deals.
However, Mabgwe denies the allegations arguing the state failed to link him to the alleged offence.