Zimbabwean fugitive resists extradition to face murder charges

Since his arrest last February, the suspect Kevin Blaze, who is also facing three counts of obtaining by false pretences in Botswana, has moved an application after another to prolong his trial date.  

Blaze, who is currently on bail, has so far moved applications, among them one for the recusal of Thato Mujaji, the magistrate who had been hearing the case.

Mujaji is has since been transferred to Selebi-Phikwe. The case is now before regional magistrate Lorraine Makati-Lesang. The other application was for bail pending trial which was granted by the High Court. He also wanted charges to be quashed.

According to the first count, the 28-year-old Blaze, of Harare, obtained credit in the amount of P7, 500 by falsely pretending to be the lawful owner of Credit Card No.4436290000001589 on February 22, 2008 at Thapama Cresta Lodge in Francistown.

On March 4, still at Thapama, Blaze allegedly obtained credit in the amount of P5, 000 by falsely pretending to be the lawful owner of credit card No. 4367732163152454.

On the third count it is alleged that Blaze, on March 7 last year, at the same hotel, obtained credit in an amount of P5,000 by falsely pretending to be the lawful owner of credit card No. 5491130335695433.

Meanwhile, there is new information that the European banks have denied issuing Blaze with credit cards he used at Thapama Cresta Lodge.

According to a letter from First National Bank Botswana dated February 15, 2008 addressed to the manager of Thapama Cresta Lodge, the bank says it has communicated with European banks where the above listed credit cards are issued and confirmed that they did not belong to Blaze.

Last March, Interpol Harare sent an urgent correspondence to their Gaborone counterparts the subject of which was Blaze, alias Taurai Gasva. He is wanted in his native Zimbabwe to face three criminal charges.

He is accused of contravening Section 4 as read with section 3 (1) (a) of the Domestic Violence Act and contravening section 7 (1) (a) of the Children’s Protection and Adoption Act Cap 5:06 Baby Dumping. Blaze is also accused of contravening C/S 186 of the Criminal law (Codification and Reform) Act (Threats).

In South Africa, he is wanted in connection with the murder of Kingsley Sithole, a former political counsellor at the South African Embassy in Harare.

Sithole was shot dead outside his newly purchased Midrand home, near Johannesburg on June 12, 2006. (The Botswana Gazett)