Viva Zimbabwe leader Acie Lumumba acquitted of theft charges

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VIVA Zimbabwe leader, William Gerald Lumumba Mutumanje, yesterday walked out of the Harare Magistrates Court a free man following his acquittal on the $8 000 theft charge levelled against him.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Mutumanje, who was represented by Advocate Webster Chinamhora, was set free after magistrate Francis Mapfumo upheld his application for discharge due to lack of incriminating evidence.

Allegations were that on February 27 this year, the complainant Graham Tineyi met Mutumanje at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport as they were both flying out of the country. Tineyi later advised Mutumanje that he was carrying more than $8 000 which he could not take out of the country. Mutumanje introduced Tineyi to one Abigail Chipuru of Traverse Travel airport office who allegedly took custody of the money as the pair flew out of the country.

The following day, Mutumanje allegedly sent a WhatsApp message to one Jethro Tonderai Maposa requesting him to go to the airport and collect the money from Chipuru.

The court further heard that Maposa collected the money and before he got into town received another message from Mutumanje instructing him to sell the money on the parallel market in exchange for a bank transfer.

The State alleged the money was first transferred into Maposa’s CBZ bank account, who later deposited $10 000 into Mutumanje’s wife Lillian Rufaro Madyira’s Stanbic Bank account.

Chipuru later approached Mutumanje demanding his money, but the latter allegedly professed ignorance, leading to his arrest.

Desire Chidanire appeared for the State.