FORMER National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu was yesterday acquitted of armed robbery and theft of property charges.
Mzila-Ndlovu, a former MP for Bulilima West, was arrested for allegedly threatening to shoot two firewood poachers, Vupenyu Gumbo and Lucky Dube, before robbing them of their cash, car keys, cellphone and personal identity documents.
Bulawayo magistrate Trynos Utawashe dismissed the case stating the State had failed to prove a prima facie case against the former MDC minister and that the evidence provided by Gumbo and Dube could not be trusted.
There was jubilation outside the court as friends and relatives who had accompanied Mzila-Ndlovu celebrated his acquittal. Mzila-Ndlovu could not hide his joy at the acquittal.
“I was subjected to a trial on flimsy if not trumped up charges. I know they were trumped up because the people involved were members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). The two who came to give evidence are employees of a former member of the CIO,” he said.
“Clearly Zanu PF wants to weaken me economically to say that if you think you can survive on cattle ranching, we will destroy that.
“Surely Zanu PF through their members in the security structures, are involved in my persecution.
According to court papers, Mzila-Ndlovu faced two counts of contravening Section 126 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Armed Robbery) and Section 113 (1) of the same Act (Theft).
He was accused of also pointing his firearm at Dube “demanding his property and inducing Dube to relinquish lawful control over the keys to his house”.
— Radio Dialogue