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Zanu PF linked land baron back in court

By Nyore Madzianike

Land developer Felix Munyaradzi is now facing allegations of attempting to defeat the course of justice by putting pressure on State witness Assistant Commissioner Erasmus Makodza.

Yesterday Munyaradzi alleged that the top cop trumped up the accusations against him in a bid to stop him from demanding an outstanding debt.

Munyaradzi is accused of attempting to coerce Asst Comm Makodza, a State witness in another case before the courts, to withdraw charges against him involving the sale of stands.

Munyaradzi claimed he extended a credit facility to Asst Comm Makodza when he wanted to apply for a loan at the bank.

He alleged Asst Comm Makodza begged him not to publicise issues surrounding the unpaid debt as that was likely going to tarnish his name since he was eyeing the post of Commissioner-General of Police.

Munyaradzi denied ever sending people to “sweet-talk” Asst Comm Makodza to withdraw the charges against him.

Munyaradzi has challenged his placement on remand on charges of obstructing the course of justice and was giving what he said was his version of events from the witness box.

“Makodza wanted to apply for a loan at the bank and he came to my office in 2016 asking if I could assist in mortgaging. He said he had land that was to be seized by Ministry of Local Government and wanted a loan so that the land would not be taken. I gave him some documents regarding the piece of land and some Agreement of Sale.

“He (Asst Comm Makodza) later came back to me saying the bank will take long to pay the loan and asked for help. He told me that if I give him the money he would then give me a contract for road surfacing.

“I then paid US$96 000 direct to Ministry of Local Government. We transferred the money direct to Ministry of Local Government so that the land will not be taken away,” he said.

Munyaradzi told Harare provincial magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro that he only talked to Shadreck Homela, the man the State alleges was sent to sweet-talk the assistant commissioner, when he asked about his unsettled debt.

“I didn’t know that he had a relationship with (Asst Comm) Makodza. He knows when I am making a follow-up, I give pressure and they raised the allegations to silence me,” said Munyaradzi.

He also denied that he was involved in any form of relationship with Constable Fortunate Dube as Asst Comm Makodza claimed in a letter to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. He told Mrs Guwuriro that he has since written a letter of complaint to Asst Comm Makodza over the claims, describing them as defamatory.

“He is trying to find ways to evade settling debts that he owes me. I never talked to him along those issues even the guys who are alleged to have talked to me. I never threatened him. If I wanted him arrested, I would have done so when he used my equipment without paying.

“The court should observe that these are people abusing their authority,” he said.

The State led by Miss Audrey Chogumaira told the court that Munyaradzi should be placed on remand since there was reasonable suspicion that he committed the offence. At this stage all that is needed is a connection between Munyaradzi’s actions and the allegations he is facing.

“We are not obliged to prove beyond reasonable doubt, but there is reasonable suspicion,” she said, noting that Munyaradzi had admitted calling Asst Comm Makodza.

Munyaradzi was remanded in custody to today for ruling on whether he will be placed on remand for the new charges. The Herald

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