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Former Minister Kagonye acquitted after state fails to prove fraud cases

Former Labour and Social Welfare Minister Petronella Kagonye has been acquitted on two counts of fraud by a Harare magistrate after the state failed to provide sufficient evidence against her.

Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti Guwuriro on Wednesday ruled that the investigating officer and the State indicated that there was not sufficient evidence to build a case against Kagonye.

She was accused of defrauding Shingiriro Housing Cooperative of US$18 000 after she allegedly received money promising them residential stands.

The Herald reported that a bookkeeper, who was supposed to testify during the trial is said to be outside the country and Guwuriro stated that the evidence of Joyce Chiroodza, the complainant, was not enough to sustain the allegations.

The magistrate further stated that the documents of the cooperative were also not enough.

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She also noted that the other matters were withdrawn by the complainants who alleged that they were forced to report lies against the accused.

The former Minister was facing three counts of fraud and she was acquitted on two counts but Guwuriro said she has a case to answer on the third count.

Kagonye had applied for discharge at the close of the State’s case but Guwuriro ruled Kagonye must be put to her defence.

On the third count, she is accused of taking 20 computers from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) for her constituency.

Magistrate Guwuriro ruled that Kagonye should reveal the location of the computers that were taken from POTRAZ.

She is also expected to tell the court who her brother, Evans Kagonye, gave the computers to and how many were received. Nehanda Radio