Mzembi freedom bid thrown out
By Tendai Rupapa
Former Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi, who is facing $1,6 million theft of trust property charges, will remain on remand pending trial after the court yesterday dismissed his application challenging placement on remand.
Mzembi faces another theft of trust property charge involving $184 336.
He is said to have allegedly connived with three others and seized vehicles which according to the State, should have been surrendered after the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference.
In his application last week through his lawyer Mr Job Sikhala, Mzembi argued that he had no case to answer.
He instead implicated former Permanent Secretary in the ministry Dr Sylvester Maunganidze.
Mzembi said in terms of the international law, items used at a conference belong to the organisers of that conference.
In dismissing the application, magistrate Mrs Rumbidzai Mugwagwa said there was sufficient evidence linking Mzembi to the crime.
“Even though he was not a signatory to the bank account, he is liable due to the doctrine of common purpose,” he said.
In the application Mr Sikhala had argued: “In this case all the things used in hosting the UNWTO conference belong to them. If ever there was anything that was stolen, it does not belong to the Government of Zimbabwe.
“The Permanent Secretary in the ministry cannot be the complainant in this matter. The legitimate complainant if there was misconduct by the applicant, should be the UNWTO.
“Your worship the official who entered into an agreement between the ministry and this private contractors is the Perm Sec Dr Sylvester Maunganidze and is the only person who should come to this court and answer on issues concerning the agreement between the two parties not the applicant (Mzembi).”
Mzembi further argued that he surrendered to the ministry the vehicle he is alleged to have stolen after he had been appointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He claimed he was not a signatory to the company in which the funds were being deposited. The Herald