A BULAWAYO regional magistrate Mark Dzira yesterday recused himself from dealing with an armed robbery charge that outgoing National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu is facing, indicating that they know each other, since the law officer worked in Plumtree some time ago.
Mzila-Ndlovu’s trial was expected to start yesterday at the Bulawayo Regional Magistrates’ Courts before Dzira. However, with the latest twist, Mzila-Ndlovu had to appear before another magistrate Crispen Mberewere, who postponed the case to August 19 when another magistrate is expected to take over from Dzira.
The MDC deputy secretary- general is facing charges of armed robbery and theft of property worth $427 charges.
He has not yet been asked to plead to the charges and he is out of custody.
In recusing himself, Dzira said he had worked with Mzila-Ndlovu and they know each other well and that their relationship could influence his judgment in the case.
The State represented by Tinashe Dzipe, 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 at Gumbo and demanding his property.
He is also alleged to have induced Gumbo to relinquish lawful control of his driver’s licence, business cards, Samsung cell phone E250 and cash amounting to $365. The MDC deputy secretary-general 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”.