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Magistrate postpones ruling as Minister’s supporter skips court

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By Staff Reporter

BINDURA: Judgment in a theft case involving four Zanu PF supporters has been postponed to Monday, court officials confirmed.

The activists were part of the campaign team for the ruling party’s Mashonaland Central provincial chairman Kazembe Kazembe during the party’s primary elections.

All four are facing charges of stealing maize meal and flour from rival candidate Tafadzwa Musarara.

Bindura magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti postponed the case after one of the four accused, Lens Ferenando, skipped the court hearing Friday.

The other three accused were identified as Boyd Fungulani, Shingirai Chisango and Jonah Ngwenya.

The court adjourned twice after Ngwenya and Ferenando, who are Zanu PF Secretary for Transport and Youth respectively, failed to turn up for the judgment, when court resumed at 8:30 am.

A warrant of arrest was issued for the two, but when the court resumed at 10:00, Ngwenya appeared alone, with his lawyer telling the court that he had missed court when it started in the morning because he was looking for Ferenando in the court yard and did not hear his name being called three times.

Brighton Korera, for the state, however, dismissed Ngwenya’s claims, arguing he had earlier seen the two together in the morning before the court session, noting that the accused was undermining the court.

Muchuchuti warned Ngwenya against defaulting before cancelling his warrant of arrest.

“I am postponing the case to Monday 16 July because I had combined the four of you in the judgment but now because the fourth accused is in default I have to separate him from this judgment meaning that I am now going to re-write,” Muchuchuti said.

Charges against the four are that at around midnight on 27 April, the four approached Bachelor Mpalane who had parked a 30-tonne truck laden with maize meal and flour belonging to Musarara at Dandamera shopping centre where the foodstuffs were to be distributed to his supporters.

The state alleges the suspects ordered the driver out of Musarara’s truck to surrender his car keys before they beat him up and went on to loot the flour and mealie meal valued at $12,000.

Mpalane managed to escape from the attackers and called Musarara, who drove to Concession and reported the matter at Concession police stations.

Goods worth around 885 dollars were recovered.