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Notorious drug dealer court papers vanish...fears of corruption at Tredgold Courts raised

by Simba Jemwa
29 Nov 2023 at 08:42hrs | Views
An investigation by Bulawayo 24 into sentences effected on a notorious Bulawayo drug dealer has resulted in questions being asked about the integrity of the Tredgold Magistrates Courts after court papers pertaining to his numerous drug-related cases reportedly went missing from the Clerk of Court.

These revelations come at a time when the Judicial Service Commission is implementing its Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS) and may soon be forced to deal with a hit that is likely to tarnish its reputation after several court documents relating to cases involving drug trafficker, Charles George Wilson who is also known as Charlie Wilson are missing, according to the Clerk of Court.

For the past four months, Bulawayo 24 has been investigating drug possession and trafficking cases involving Wilson who has been convicted a couple of times for possession of cocaine but is yet to serve an effective jail sentence. Several attempts over the months by Bulawayo 24 to access court documents relating to these court cases but was informed by the Clerk of Court that they could not be found.

Wilson has been arrested more than three times and been convicted at least twice for possession of cocaine but has been let off relatively easy with the courts offering him the option of a fine instead of the mandatory jail sentence that cocaine possession attracts.

The Clerk of Court revealed to this news crew that the documents pertaining to Charlie Wilson are unavailable. Unfortunately, the court documents including case outlines, trial papers and sentencing instructions are currently missing.

A source close to the cases in question said Wilson uses different names with each court appearance, varying Charlie Wilson with Charlie Herbet Wilson to avoid being recognized in court documents as a repeat offender.

"Charlie Wilson or Charles Geroge Wilson has appeared before the courts multiple times for possession of cocaine. And each time he appears, he is given the option of fine because he keeps changing around his name. But you must understand, this is not mean investigators and court officials don’t know that his full name is Charlie Herbert Wilson and that Charlie Wilson is just a shortened version of his full name," the source revealed.

Regarding the exact number of drug cases involving Wilson that could be affected by this discovery, the source said it's too early to tell and this will only be possible if and when the court papers are found. The source said should they be found, a JSC investigation into the sentencing in each case is going to have to be looked at individually.

"This case is likely to embarrass the JSC especially given that President Emmerson Mnangagwa himself has issued a war cry against drug and substance abuse. But in unfortunately, this is exactly the situation we have."

The source said he hopes the JSC will order a full, comprehensive investigation into the matter.

Bulawayo 24 will continue to investigate and speak to the JSC, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services as it attempts to have the missing documents tracked.

Source - Simba Jemwa