Mawarire fistfight cripples trial

Evan Mawarire

Evan Mawarire

Fungai Lupande Court reporter
National People’s Party (NPP) leader Dr Joice Mujuru’s spokesperson Mr Gift Nyandoro appeared at the courts yesterday with his right leg in plaster and walking with the aid of crutches to prove that he was injured and could not represent his client.

Mr Nyandoro, who is a lawyer, emerged the worst from a public fistfight with former NPP national spokesperson Mr Jealousy Mawarire outside Bronte Hotel in Harare recently.

He is representing Ronald Madhara, an accountant for gold operations at Fidelity Printers and Refiners (Pvt) Ltd, in an $800 000 fraud case.

The presiding magistrate, Mr Noel Mupeiwa, had turned down an application of postponement on Wednesday and requested proof that Mr Nyandoro was indeed injured.

Mr Nyandoro decided to come to court in person and addressed the court, saying he did not know when he would be fit to start work.

He addressed the court while clad in a pair of shorts and walking with the aid of crutches.

His right leg was in a plaster.

“I am going for review today (yesterday) so, I will be able to get an indication of when I can be able to resume work,” said Mr Nyandoro.

Prosecutor Mr Michael Reza told the court that it was unfortunate that Madhara’s lawyer was injured and did not know when he would be fit to represent him.

“However, in the interest of justice, there has to be finality to this matter,” he said. “I suggest that the accused find another lawyer to represent him.”

Mr Mupeiwa postponed the trial to April 20 pending Mr Nyandoro’s review.

Madhara, who is giving evidence in his defence case, is jointly charged with Tinashe Mumbengegwi, James Munemo and Swisspack Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd.

It is alleged that Mumbengegwi and Madhara transferred $780 565 from their employer’s account to Munemo’s bank account.

The pair allegedly lied that Munemo had supplied gold to Fidelity Printers and Refiners.

It is alleged that Munemo would withdraw the money and share it with the quartet.

The quartet pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of fraud and 11 counts of money laundering.

Mr Reza alleged that sometime in 2008, Munemo opened a shelf company that was in the business of selling and fitting electrical gadgets.

During the period extending from October 2013 to September last year, Mumbengegwi and Madhara, who are the signatories to Fidelity Printers and Refiners bank account held at Stanbic, allegedly transferred $579 042 from their employer’s account into Swisspack Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd bank account also held at Stanbic.

It is further alleged that between December last year and April this year, a further $201 518 was transferred into Swisspack Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd’s account.