Charges against Wadyajena withdrawn

Source: Charges against Wadyajena withdrawn | The Herald January 25, 2017

Leonard Ncube: Bulawayo Bureau

PROSECUTORS yesterday withdrew before plea charges of criminal insult against zanu-pf legislator for Gokwe-Nembudziya Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena.The withdrawal, which was opposed by the defence, came after the complainant Cde Letina Munamato Undenge, who is Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge’s wife, filed an affidavit saying she was no longer interested in pursuing the case.

“The State wishes to withdraw charges before plea as the complainant has filed a withdrawal affidavit. The State will stick to that since the accused had not been formally charged,” said prosecutor Mr Takunda Ndovorwi in court.

The complainant, who last month also skipped court when trial was supposed to kick off, didn’t give reasons why she was no longer interested in pursuing the matter.

Cde Wadyajena (35), had not been asked to plead to the charge. In response, Cde Wadyajena’s lawyer Mr Givemore Muvhiringi of Dube and Company challenged the withdrawal before plea saying it gives the State an unfair advantage over the legislator as charges can be revived later.

“The accused feels prejudiced by attending this court so many times after the State elected to charge him. This is clearly in violation of his right and he feels he should have been afforded time to clear his name” said Mr Muvhiringi.

The defence wanted charges to be withdrawn after plea.

“It is proper that if the State is to withdraw charges, the withdrawal has to be after plea since the accused has already filed his defence outline,” said Mr Muvhiringi.

He cited Section 56 of the Constitution which provides for the right to protection of the law and Section 44 which speaks of the court’s obligation to implement constitutional provisions.

Victoria Falls resident magistrate Ms Lindiwe Maphosa accepted the withdrawal before plea saying the fact that a defence outline had been filed made no difference. The legislator was on $800 bail while the court had allowed him to apply for the release of his passport for convenience whenever he intended to travel on Parliament business.

Last year, Cde Wadyajena abandoned his application to the Constitutional Court challenging the constitutionality of the charges, opting to stand trial. He was accused of committing the crime in December 2015 during zanu-pf’s 15th Annual People’s Conference in Victoria Falls.

Another zanu-pf member the MP was alleged to have also insulted from Mashonaland West Cde Jimayi Muduvuri also withdrew the charges claiming the move was meant to foster unity in the revolutionary party.