By Mashudu Netsianda
The notorious Esigodini gold dealer Baron Dube, who allegedly shot and killed a member of a rival mining gang in the area, has been granted $2 000 bail pending trial by the High Court.
The ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva follows an application by Dube.
“The applicant be and hereby admitted to bail on condition that he pays $2 000 bail deposit to the clerk of court, Gwanda. He is ordered to continue residing at his given address in Esigodini and not interfere with State witnesses until the matter is heard and finalised,” ruled the judge.
Justice Takuva also ordered Dube to report to Esigodini Police Station once a week on Fridays until the matter is finalised.
Dube of Habane Township has since appeared before Gwanda magistrate Ms Nomagugu Ncube facing a murder charge in connection with the fatal shooting of Antony Bvundura last month in the heat of a fight over a mining claim at Block 13 Atlas Mine in Esigodini.
Dube allegedly used a Voere 458 calibre rifle.
The shooting happened at a mine belonging to a Mr Tendai Musanangura.
Dube said he has mining rights and authority from Mr Musanangura to occupy the mine.
Dube, through his lawyers Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba Legal Practitioners, filed an application for bail pending trial at the Bulawayo High Court citing the State as the respondent.
In his grounds of appeal, Dube, who is denying the charge, said he was a proper candidate for bail and would not abscond.
He argued that he is a businessman who owns properties of value, which include a farm and more than 500 head of cattle.
“The applicant submits that the reliance of the State on the traditional reasons for refusal of bail is purely presumptuous and unfounded especially with regards to abscondment,” he said.
Dube said admission to bail would not prejudice the interests of justice.
“The applicant is willing to abide by all bail conditions this honourable court might be inclined to impose such as requiring him to remain at his present place of residence and prohibiting him from interfering with State witnesses until the matter is finalised,” said Dube’s lawyers.
The State, which is being represented by Mrs Sifiso Ndlovu-Sibanda, had opposed bail.
The prosecutor argued that there was no guarantee that if granted bail Dube would not abscond due to the gravity of the alleged offence.
Mrs Ndlovu-Sibanda said Dube is a well-known gold dealer who wields a lot of influence in Esigodini hence the likelihood of interfering with witnesses.
She said Dube has previous similar cases involving acts of violence. The Chronicle.