By Brian Chitemba
Mutare-based British national David Paul Crosby (30), who was arrested by the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) and appeared before a Harare court yesterday, could be “connected to high-ranking Government officials” that he reportedly used to push illegal trade in Mutare, court documents say.
Crosby, who is the general manager of Sckorus Investments located at 299 Borrowdale Road, Harare, appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mrs Bianca Makwande facing charges of defeating or obstructing the course of justice or alternatively conspiracy to criminal abuse of office.
Mrs Makwande remanded Crosby in custody until Monday for bail ruling.
Prosecutor Sheila Mupindu appeared for the state.
Crosby, of 10 Blesblock Avenue, Murambi, in Mutare, is alleged to be part of a syndicate that has seen Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Commissioner Crispen Charumbira being arrested for allegedly releasing an illegal gold trader.
The CID boss is currently out on bail facing charges of obstruction of justice.
The state claims that in June 2019, Crosby influenced Comm Charumbira to release his gold trading partner, David Mucheche, who had been arrested by Constables Mashange, Mahere and Chada for illegal possession of 1,3 kilogrammes of gold.
While police officers were taking Mucheche to Mutare Central Police Station, Crosby allegedly persuaded Comm Charumbira over the phone to facilitate the release of Mucheche without charges.
“Commissioner Crispen Charumbira agreed to this and he spoke to the Officer-in-Charge MFFU (Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit) instructing him to release David Mucheche without preferring charges against him and return 1,3 kgs of gold to him, thereby showing favour to Mucheche.
“Detective Inspector Machaka (Officer-in-Charge MFFU Mutare) informed him (Comm Charumbira) that he wanted to verify whether David Mucheche was in possession of a permit or a licence to deal in gold, but Comm Charumbira insisted that there was no need for that verification to be carried out but that he should return the gold to the suspect and set him free.”
Detective Insp Machaka was forced to comply with his boss and Mucheche walked scot-free as a result of Crosby’s intervention.
In opposing bail, the investigating officer, Chief Superintendent Temba Mushoriwa, said Crosby was a foreign national and his mother was based in Switzerland, hence could easily abscond.
Chief Supt Mushoriwa submitted that he should not be released on bail because “the accused is connected to high-ranking Government officials and is a man of means; he might use his influence and financial muscle to skip the country”.
He added: “The accused is facing a serious offence, which if found guilty might attract a lengthy custodial sentence and as a result, he might want to evade justice. The accused is the general manager of Sckorus Investments Mutare branch and one of the state witnesses is his client and there is a likelihood that he might interfere with the witness.” The Sunday Mail