Minister smuggled girlfriend into Hotel – Court told

Harare — DEPUTY Minister Thamsanqa Mahlangu connived with security personnel to smuggle his girlfriend and her friend into a room booked for him at Crown Plaza Hotel, a Harare magistrate court heard on Monday.

The allegation comes as a new revelation in the case in which Mahlangu, who is also the MDC-T youth chairman, is accused of stealing Joseph Chinotimba’s mobile phone.

"During investigations, the first accused (Geraldine Phiri) told me that she had met the third accused (Mahlangu) at a youth forum. She also told me that he proposed love to her and they exchanged numbers.

"Phiri told me that she contacted Mahlangu on July 16 this year telling him that she was coming to Harare together with her friend," he said.

"They also said they found transport from Hwange at around 1pm and arrived in Harare around 1 am. When they arrived, they called Mahlangu who had made arrangements with the hotel security to ease their way into his hotel room," he said.

However, the defence team dismissed the evidence given by Det Insp Dowa arguing that it was based on hearsay and did not have any bearing on the case.

On Monday, the defence mounted an application for discharge at the close of the State case citing lack of incriminating evidence.

Mr Charles Kwaramba of Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni Legal Practitioners is representing Mahlangu and his personal assistant Chadamoyo while Mr Phillip Nyakutombwa of Sawyer and Mkushi Legal Practitioners is representing Phiri and Nyoni.

Mr Nyakutombwa argued that there was no evidence linking his clients to the commission of the offence, as there was no witness who could identify them.

Mr Kwaramba argued that Mahlangu and Chadamoyo possessed the phone innocently intending to return it to the owner and had nothing to explain to the court.

The State led by Mr Public Mpofu is however maintaining that the four have a case to answer.

Mr Kwaramba said the Det Insp Dowa was not at the VIP Lounge at Harare International Conference Centre hence he did not know what happened on the day in question.

Earlier, Mahlangu’s boss Minister Saviour Kasukuwere chronicled how his deputy and Chadamoyo had brought the mobile phone in question to him, claiming that Chadamoyo had picked it up. The Herald