Zimbabwe News

The reason why Neville Mutsvangwa and alleged accomplices were denied bail

Suspected illegal foreign currency dealers Neville Mutsvangwa, Simbarashe Tichingana and Ellis Majachani were on Monday, 13 May, denied bail by Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi.

They are facing one count of contravening section 5(1)(a)(ii) of the Exchange Control Act [Chapter 22:05] as read with section 4(1)(a)(1) of the Exchange Control Regulations SI 109 of 1996 “Dealing in foreign currency”, one count of contravening the Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Act and another count of contravening the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act.

Mutsvangwa is also facing another charge of contravening the Postal and Telecommunications Act in that he was allegedly found unlawfully using Starlink equipment.

The trio will be back at the Harare Magistrates Court on May 30 for their routine remand awaiting trial.

In denying the three accused persons bail, Mangosi said the State was wrong in implying that they were likely to interfere with witnesses without supporting the claim with evidence. The magistrate said (via ZimLive):

On interference, it is insufficient for the state to make merely bold assertions without supporting evidence.

Evidence was led from IO who submitted that they haven’t interfered with anyone; so the court will consider this not a valid reason.

Mangosi, however, considered the other reasons given by the state in opposing bail. He said:

On absconding, the state has to consider the risks of absconding.

Police details went to Mumba Money and seized some gadgets and articles where there is evidence of transfer of funds and in his defence, the first accused person (Neville) says he has free funds and can buy staff for people who in turn pay him.

In addition, police officers in uniform had to cut the electric fence where they searched only to find him hiding.

The defence by the accused is invalid. The fact is the company is an unregistered entity and was transacting with clients.

There is evidence that they were dealing in foreign currency. Accused one is a minister’s son and has connections and can sustain livelihood outside the country hence bail is denied.

Neville’s father Chris, is the ZANU PF spokesperson, and his mother Monica, is the Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister.

Neville and his co-accused were arrested last Wednesday. Detectives broke into Neville’s residence after he had refused to allow them in.

Tichingana was arrested after he went to Neville’s home pretending to be a concerned neighbour.

Majachani was caught at Mumba Money, a company owned by Neville.

Thomas Chanakira and Ruvimbo Matyatya prosecuted.

The suspects are represented by their lawyers, Josephine Sande Chimombe and Mable Tarugarira who indicated that they will now appeal against the refusal to grant bail at the High Court.

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