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Mugabe's son-in-law seeks acquittal at High Court

by Staff reporter
17 Apr 2019 at 07:25hrs | Views
FORMER president Robert Mugabe's son-in-law Simba Chikore has approached the High Court seeking acquittal on charges of unlawful detention.

This comes after his bid for discharge at the close of the State case was thrown out. Chikore is represented by Jonathan Samukange and cited Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba and Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi as respondents.  He wants his application for discharge at the close of the State case granted by the High Court, and also wants the court to declare him not guilty and acquitted.

Allegations are that Chikore — married to Mugabe's daughter Bona — reportedly embarked on a purge of senior staff at Zimbabwe Airways he accused of being disloyal to the company. According to Bertha Zakeyo, she received a letter from her boss Chikore, demanding that she responds to a battery of charges levelled against her.

The charges included holding unsanctioned meetings outside the company premises and trading sensitive information.  She later received an e-mail from Chikore demanding that she writes a report detailing her dealings with unnamed external parties.

In a docket opened at the Highlands Police Station, Zakeyo said Chikore — whom she accused of masquerading as a captain — kidnapped her for more than two hours and also denied her access to her lawyer, Phillipa Phillips. Chikore's bid for discharge was dismissed by Mashamba who ruled that he had a case to answer and must be put to his defence.

In his High Court application, Chikore's lawyer Samukange said: "The first respondent (Mashamba) formulated the opinion that prosecution had established a prima facie case. This is a gross irregularity and unreasonable. It is the responsibility of the prosecution to establish a prima facie case and not the magistrate."

Samukange said it was unreasonable for Mashamba to place Chikore to his defence just to explain why the gate was locked on the day in question. "…to put the applicant to explain why the gate was kept locked is improper and does not add any value. Mashamba's decision is grossly irregular that no reasonable person acting carefully would put the applicant to his defence," he added.

"The evidence before the court was so unreliable and did not take the State case any further. There was no evidence that the complainant had been detained and what became clear is that she voluntarily without any undue influence refused to leave the premises."

Allegations against Chikore are that he hatched a plan and connived with Simbarashe Mutimbe whom he was jointly tried with, to unlawfully detain Zakeyo.

Acting in common cause, the State alleges that they unlawfully detained and deprived Zakeyo of "her freedom of bodily movement by refusing her to exit her workplace at Zimbabwe Airways premises for four hours against her will."

Source - dailynews