By Court Reporter
PROMINENT businessman, James Makamba Friday walked out of court a free man after the state was ordered to continue by way of summons.
Makamba turned himself in Friday morning applying for cancelation of a warrant of arrest issued against him when he fled the country in 2005.
He told court that his default was not wilful because he feared for his life as former President Robert Mugabe was suspecting he was bedding his wife Grace.
“When he got his passport back he travelled to South Africa. His intention was to come back and face justice explaining why he submitted himself to this court’s jurisdiction because the danger to his life has been eliminated.
“The applicant was a simple man fighting against a President so he felt vulnerable so he defaulted to save his life,” said Makamba’s lawyer Charles Chinyama.
Chinyama further submitted his client was not the first person who went into exile because of political circumstances.
But prosecuting, Michael Reza challenged the application saying the default was wilful before he begged the court to forfeit Makamba’s house which was tendered as surety when he was granted bail.
However, the application flopped on technical grounds.
Chinyama challenged that saying the property was also supposed to be called three times on the day his client defaulted.
Upon perusal of the docket, it emerged that the procedure was not followed rendering the state’s application useless.
This resulted in the magistrate scrapping Makamba’s bail conditions and the case could not proceed as the state is not ready.
Reza then told the court that the case will continue by way of summons before Makamba was freed.
Makamba, who owns various businesses, was accused of dealing in foreign currency without authority.
State alleged that he externalised millions of dollars and it was also rumoured that he was former First Lady’s boyfriend.
He was granted bail in 2005 and his passport was taken as part of his bail conditions.
He then successfully applied for temporary release of his passport but instead, he fled only to come back soon after Mugabe was removed from power last year.