As the year comes to an end, we reflect on the experiences at the Harare Magistrate’s court throughout the year. The year, 2018 saw the court flooded with high profile cases involving sitting members of parliament, former cabinet ministers, socialites and many other popular figures which is a first in our judiciary system.
The former minister of energy, Samuel Undenge was arraigned before courts on corruption charges. He was convicted on one of the matters and he was sentenced to 4 years in prison. He was however found not guilty and acquitted on the other charge which was in relation to the Gwanda solar project involving Intratek. He is currently out on bail pending appeal at the High court.
Former minister of local government, home affairs, Ignatious Chombo is still in the courts where he is facing a cocktail of charges mostly corruption related. Supa Mandiwanzira, the former minister of Information and Communication Technology who is also a member of the current sitting parliament is also facing charges of criminal abuse of office before the same courts. He is currently on bail coupled with stringent bail conditions with his trial expected to finally kick start this January.
The former long-time minister of health David Parirenyatwa was also arrested and arraigned before court on charges of criminal abuse of office. He is currently out on bail pending trial.
Former mines minister, Walter Chidhakwa Chidhakwa is also before the same court facing charges of criminal abuse of office, among other charges.
Saviour Kasukuwere who was affectionately known as Tyson is also facing a cocktail of charges. There is a trail of cases following him from the time he served as Minister of Youth, then Minister of Local Government. He was also arrested for breaching immigration laws but he was acquitted only to be arrested for yet other charges.
The court also hosted, Genius Kadungure and Wicknel Chivayo popular socialites who were jointly charged for defrauding sitting Member of Parliament, Dexter Nduna in a mines supply deal. They were however both found not guilty and acquitted of those charges. They each however have pending cases before the same court which are still continuing.
Self-proclaimed prophet, Walter Magaya is also out on bail after manufacturing, advertising and attempting to sell a bogus HIV cure that he claimed to have found. The matter is yet to be determined by the court
The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) chief executive officer, Engineer Joshua Chifamba, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution (ZETDC) managing director Engineer Julian Chinembiri and his finance director Thokozani Dhliwayo are also before court in connection with over $35 million underhand dealings involving an Indian company PME. POTRAZ Director General, Gift Machengete is also before the same court.
Other individuals, including Francis Gudyanga the former mines secretary. Former television personality Oscar Pambuka, and former Member of parliament Psychology Maziwisa were convicted of fraud charges but they have since been granted bail pending appeal.
Bona Mugabe’s husband, Simba Chikore is also before court on allegations of unlawful detention and he is yet to go to trial.
These are some of the high profile cases that have been at the courts throughout the year as we round it up.