Minister’s trial fails to take off

THE trial of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu failed to take off yesterday at the Bulawayo Regional Magistrates’ Court, as his lawyer was attending to another case in Harare.

Report by Silas Nkala

Mzila-Ndlovu is facing charges of armed robbery and theft of property worth $427 charges.

The minister yesterday appeared before magistrate Mark Dzira at the Bulawayo regional Magistrates’ Court, where the trial was expected to start.

He has not been asked to plead to the charges.

Mzila-Ndlovu was remanded out of custody to July 8 for trial.
The MDC deputy secretary -general’s lawyer Matshobana Ncube was reportedly attending another court case in Harare.

The State represented by Goodluck Katenaire alleges that Mzila-Ndlovu threatened to shoot two firewood poachers, Vupenyu Gumbo and Lucky Dube, before robbing them of their cash, car keys, cellphone and personal identity documents.

The crime was allegedly committed at his Magazine Farm near Mbokodo along the Bulawayo-Plumtree Road on April 11 2013.

It is the State’s case that on the day in question, Mzila-Ndlovu was at Magazine Farm where he allegedly unlawfully and intentionally used violence or threats of violence, pointing his 303 rifle serial number 12698 at Gumbo and demanding his property.

He is also alleged to have induced Gumbo to relinquish lawful control over his driver’s licence, business cards, Samsung cellphone E250 and cash amounting to $365.

Mzila-Ndlovu is accused of also pointing his firearm at Dube “demanding his property and inducing Dube to relinquish lawful control over the keys to his house”.

The State alleges that the legislator caught Gumbo and Dube poaching firewood at his farm around 5pm and threatened to shoot them before allegedly robbing them.

He allegedly ordered both of them to lie down and to produce their identification particulars, with Gumbo taking out his wallet in order to hand over his licence.

The minister allegedly grabbed the wallet, which had $365, a driver’s licence and three business cards. The accused also demanded their cellphones.

Gumbo gave him his Samsung E250 with a NetOne sim card. Dube had no cellphone, but had house keys which the accused took. Mzila-Ndlovu allegedly later directed the two firewood poachers to load it into their vehicle and follow him to his house.

They pretended to be following him, but drove to Emganwini where they later made a police report.

The Bulilima East MP was arrested on May 19 and only property worth $62 was recovered.

His firearm was seized by the State and sent to the forensic ballistics experts for examination.

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