via State pursues Mwonzora’s 1999 case – DailyNews Live by Tendai Kamhungira
MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora has been dragged to court over a 1999 case, which the State is pursuing despite the complainant withdrawing the matter.
Mwonzora, a lawyer by profession, was yesterday summoned to appear before a Harare magistrate for allegedly fleecing his client Lameck Kunjeku of Z$300 000 in 1999.
Kunjeku yesterday told the court that he is no longer interested in the case, but the State insisted it was proceeding to trial.
Regional magistrate Themba Kuwanda was surprised at the State’s insistence, adding that the actions created “unnecessary suspicion on the system”.
“General law of practice says once a complainant says he is no longer interested, the matter is withdrawn,” Kuwanda said.
He queried who resuscitated the case and why the State was insisting on going to trial yet the complainant had made it clear that he was not interested.
“Why should you behave like that, what is the reason for that?” Kuwanda asked.
He, however, ordered the State to convert the amount being alleged in State papers, into United States dollars.
Mwonzora gave notice that he was going to apply for refusal of remand when the matter comes for trial on September 12.
He said it was impossible for him to be tried now over an issue that happened 14 years ago and have been withdrawn twice before.
“I am being persecuted in this matter and I need protection from this court against abuse by State officials,” Mwonzora said.
Allegations against Mwonzora arose after Kunjeku bought a Mazda 626 in 1999 from someone only identified in court papers as R Masuku.
It was later discovered in 2001 that the vehicle had been stolen.
Kunjeku, who was being represented by Mwonzora, allegedly won a Z$300 000 lawsuit against Masuku in 2003.
When the judgment was delivered, it is alleged that Masuku was in prison and hence it could not be executed.
The court heard that Mwonzora later received the money from Masuku’s relative in 2005 and failed to remit it to Kunjeku.