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CIO officer in 13kg gold smuggling case launches fresh bail bid

By Nyore Madzianike

The CIO officer accused of carrying 13kg of gold worth US$783 000 round security checks at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to pass to a smuggler in the departure lounge yesterday launched a fresh bail bid on the grounds of increasing delays in his trial.

Immigration workers wear protective masks at a departure port at Robert Mugabe International airport in Harare, Zimbabwe, March 11, 2020. Picture taken March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
Immigration workers wear protective masks at a departure port at Robert Mugabe International airport in Harare, Zimbabwe, March 11, 2020. Picture taken March 11, 2020. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Chamakandiona Nyahunda, who is charged with smuggling and criminal abuse of duty, mounted a fresh bail application when appearing before Harare magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje saying the State was failing to make progress in investigating his charges and that the present enhanced lockdowns in South Africa and Zimbabwe would delay the investigations further.

Nyahunda noted he has been in remand prison for the past two months with the State failing to complete its investigations.

He argued that the lapse of time was a changed circumstance that warrants his release on bail pending trial.

“The fact that the State did not indicate when the investigations would be complete shows how unprepared the State is with this matter meaning the applicant will languish in remand prison for months to come,” he said.

Nyahunda also argued that the recent intensification of the lockdown was another changed circumstance that warranted his releases on bail, since Government had ordered that institutions reduce work forces to 40 percent meaning investigations into his matter were likely to take time as manpower will be reduced in police.

There was no approval from the South African government for the local police to carry investigations across the border.

Nyahunda was denied bail by Mr Mambanje after he noted that the State had a strong case against him arising from the fact that he was spotted on CCTV carrying a bag believed to have been containing the 13kg of gold and was spotted avoiding security check points and ending up in the smoking room where he allegedly handed the bag to Tashinga Nyasha Masinire who was caught with the gold on arrival in South Africa.

Masinire was later arrested at OR Tambo International Airport for illegally possessing gold.

The State represented by Mr Marlvin Mapako is expected to file his response on Monday. The Herald

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