TWO male Zimbabweans who fled from South Africa after committing several cases of murder and robbery there are set to be extradited to that country to face trial.
The order was granted this month by the High Court judge, Joseph Mafusire after the two men, Simbarashe Charuma and Prince Chindawande, had contested their lengthy incarceration in remand prison in Chiredzi.
The extradition order was granted last July by a Chiredzi magistrate after an application by the prosecution authorities of South Africa.
The two men were employed as security guards in the Limpopo Province of South Africa and are facing charges of brutally assaulting and killing their employer before stealing cash and two cell phones in June 2016.
They then fled to Zimbabwe and were arrested last year in Chiredzi. The evidence of the crime committed was said to include video footage downloaded from CCTV cameras.
The application for discharge from extradition at the High Court made by Charuma and Chindawande was based on the fact that it was more than nine months after the extradition order had been granted and that none of the authorities from South Africa or Zimbabwe had done anything towards the hand-over-take-over of the applicants in furtherance of the extradition order.
However, Justice Mafusire dismissed the application for discharge, but ordered the South African and Zimbabwe governments to swiftly extradite the two men to South Africa to face trial.
Lawyers representing the two governments had argued in court that the delay in extraditing them had been caused by the political turmoil in Zimbabwe following the removal of Robert Mugabe as the country’s president last November.
However, Justice Mafusire was not amused by the delay in extraditing the two and castigated the ministry of home affairs officials for having a “lackadaisical, easy-going, indifferent and laidback approach to government business”.