Wild celebrations as Masvingo fraudsters won’t be extradited to the US

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A LOCAL High Court ruling has stopped the extradition of three US fugitives who are wanted to stand trial in America after they defrauded $7 million tax money in that country sparking wild celebrations in Masvingo.

The Marimbire brothers – Chris and Julius – along with Andrew Tashanduka Bere, were facing extradition to the United States of America as the Zimbabwean police had last week launched a manhunt for the trio.

The ruling by the High Court in favour of the fugitives sparked wild celebrations in Masvingo city over the Easter holidays as news of the trio’s ‘freedom’ trickled in.

The fugitives reside in Masvingo, their hometown, and are highly esteemed members of the society, owed to their flashy lifestyles as well as their humanitarian work for the Masvingo community.

One of the suspects, Andrew Tashnaduka Bere, was already in police custody.

They are wanted in the US in connection with the $7 million tax fraud case which they committed in 2012.

However, in a turn of events, the Marimbe brothers filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court to stop the police from taking them into custody before their extradition to the US to face trial.

Justice David Mangota granted the application in favour of the Marimbire brothers who were being represented by Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara.

“The arrest and detention of applicants (Marimbe brothers) for the purpose of extradition to USA is unlawful,” said Justice Mangota.

According to state media, Justice Mangota, in his ruling, said although Zimbabwe and the US had an extradition treaty signed in 1999 that treaty was not incorporated into the country’s law as required by the Extradition Act.

The ruling means no criminal suspects can be extradited to the US because Zimbabwe has not complied with its Extradition Act.