By Zvikomborero Parafini
The tax evasion case involving Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries led by Prophet Walter Magaya took a new twist as the court engaged in a ‘trial within a trial.’
The trial within a trial resulted from objection by the defence team for the State to tender financial statements that were allegedly retrieved from the PHD computers by ZIMRA officials.
The objection by Admire Rubaya prompted presiding magistrate Hosea Mujaya to rule that the ongoing trial be set aside and the ‘trial within a trial’ be conducted to establish the authenticity and admissibility of the financial statements in dispute.
Prosecutor George Manokore opened the trial within a trial by calling the evidence of its sole witness, ZIMRA chief security officer Tinashe Madakadze.
Madakadze testified that he went to the PHD premises in the company of 10 police officers and 17 ZIMRA officials and conducted a search and seized several computers.
“After we took the computers, we asked for PHD officials to come to our offices and open the computers for us so that we could access the financial statements which we retrieved and printed on our machines.
“We engaged the PHD representative in this case Nelson Marimo to bring a stamp but the representatives he assigned to assist us refused to stamp that’s why the statements are not stamped,” said Madakadze.
In cross examination, Oliver Marwa who is part of the defence team quizzed the witness why there was no proof that the documents were retrieved from the alleged computers.
“Nothing shows that the financial statements were created on a desktop, you could have easily created them on a phone, over and above, no inventory was brought showing the number of computers.
“The representatives did not stamp the documents because they were not produced for or on behalf of PHD,” said Marwa.
The matter will continue today for ruling. H-Metro