Zimbabwe News

High Court Judge recuses herself from Neville Mutsvangwa bail case

High Court judge Justice Esther Muremba has recused herself in the bail application for Neville Mutsvangwa, who is accused of violating the Exchange Control Act.

According to NewsDay, Muremba said she is doing that for personal reasons. She then referred the record to the Registrar of the High Court for judge allocation.

Neville is the son of ZANU PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa and his wife Monica, who is the Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister.

Mutsvangwa (44) and his co-accused Elias Majachani and Simbarashe Tichingana are facing three criminal charges of illegal foreign currency dealings.

He faces a separate charge of contravening the Postal and Telecommunications Act in that he was allegedly found in possession of an unlicensed Starlink router.

Mutsvangwa and his co-accused were denied bail by Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi and appealed against the ruling at the High Court.

According to NewZimbabwe.com, the High Court last week postponed the ruling on the case to Monday, 27 May, because the Investigating Officer’s typed record of proceedings was missing from the docket.

Mutsvangwa’s lawyer, Josephine Sande, argued that the prosecution has no case against Mutsvangwa and his co-suspects Majachani and Tichingana.

She said the Magistrates Court misdirected itself in denying bail to Mutsvangwa and his co-accused, arguing that the prosecution hinged its evidence on Visa cards which were seized from Mutsvangwa’s Mount Pleasant home.

Sande submitted that possession of Visa cards is not a crime, and neither is it evidence that someone is involved in illegal dealing with cash or money laundering.

In denying the three accused persons bail, Mangosi said the accused persons could be tempted to abscond.

He also ruled that police found overwhelming evidence that Mumba Money Transfer, a company owned by Mutsvangwa, was an unregistered entity dealing in foreign currency.

The magistrate also considered that the Police had difficulties in arresting Mutsvangwa. He first denied police entry to his Mt Pleasant house and then hid outside his house when police cut his electric fence and climbed over his gate.

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