By Elizabeth Mashiri
Prominent land developer, Smelly Dube who is remanded in prison on charges of selling State land with a value of over US$9 million on Saturday marked her 25th day at Claybank Hospital in Gweru where she is admitted on an undisclosed ailment.
She is guarded 24 hours on her hospital bed by guards from the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services. She was admitted at Claybank on March 3, 2021 after she had collapsed.
Eyebrows have been raised in Government circles over her illness as Smelly fell ill after Police phoned and told her that she was wanted in connection with the alleged illegal sales of land.
After her admission in hospital it became difficult for Police to charge Smelly because her lawyers argued that she was unconscious, incommunicable and battling for life that she would not understand the charges. However, the court ruled that Smelly understood the charges because she was aware of them before she went into hospital.
Her lawyers later argued for bail but the court again ruled that Smelly was a flight risk after she claimed that she lost her passport a few days after she travelled abroad.
This is not the first time that Smelly has not been able to attend to courts because of illness. Two years ago she failed to attend hearings of a Land Commission appointed by the President and headed by Justice Uchena set up to enquire on illegal sales of urban State land. She was given two opportunities to attend in Gweru but her lawyers said she was ill.
She was then called again to attend the same hearing a few weeks later in Harare but she fell ill. The Commission eventually wound up its work without questioning her on the suspected illegal State land sales by her in Gweru, Zvishavane and Shurugwi. Masvingo Mirror