Source: NPA orders Kebab’s $85 000 theft trial restart – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 12, 2017
The National Prosecuting Authority yesterday ordered a restart of the trial of Eddie “Kebab” Zviitwa and Keegan Blumears, who are accused of stealing $85 000 from a Lebanese national, after a Harare magistrate last year dismissed the suspects’ application for discharge.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Regional magistrate, Bianca Makwande will on April 24 this year preside over the fresh trial.
Makwande took over the case after two magistrates, Hosiah Mujaya and Lucy Mungwari, recused themselves from the case due to conflict of interest.
While recusing himself in protest, Mujaya told the court that the defence counsel was of the view that he was under pressure to convict Zviitwa and Blumears.
Mujaya had earlier discharged the two’s alleged accomplices, Taurai Makata, Obey Chakacha and Tinashe Hakunavanhu, who were facing the same charges after ruling the State had failed to prove a case against them.
Blumears’ lawyer, Admire Rubaya then reacted to Mujaya’s decision by recusing himself from the matter after the magistrate insisted that the two should be put to their defence as early as possible.
On the other hand, magistrate Mugwari told the court that she had presided over a case in which one of the witnesses in the theft charges was involved.
Allegations are that on March 29, the complainant, Taghlan Hovsep, who is a Lebanese national, was lured to a Mount Pleasant house on the pretext of buying a Hyundai excavator.
The State alleges Hosvep went to Blumears with a bag full of cash with the aim of buying a heavy-duty machine, which was purportedly coming from a friend’s mine. Blumears then communicated with his alleged accomplice and some bogus detectives.
The bogus detectives purported to arrest Hosvep for dealing in minerals and supporting Team Lacoste, a faction in the ruling Zanu PF allegedly linked to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, before taking his money.
The State alleges Zviitwa then left with the bogus detectives on the pretext they were going to release Hosvep’s money. But he later came back empty-handed, claiming the money had been taken away by senior police officers. As a result, Hosvep was prejudiced of $85 000 and nothing was recovered.