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Zimbabwe opposition MP acquitted

by Moyo Roy
07 Jun 2011 at 06:03hrs | Views
MAZOWE Central Member of Parliament, Mr Shepherd Mushonga, who was being accused of stealing quarry stones donated to his constituency, was last week acquitted for lack of incriminating evidence.

Mr Mushonga, a senior partner with Mushonga and Associates law firm, was discharged at the close of the State's case after the prosecution failed to prove the theft allegations.

Evidence led from the State witnesses did not at all prove Mr Mushonga's guilt and instead, the bulk of the evidence actually exonerated him from any wrongdoing.

Defence lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu successfully mounted an application for discharge at the end of the prosecution's case.

Mashonaland Central area prosecutor Mr Emmanuel Muchenga conceded that the evidence adduced did not prove the essential elements of the offence.

After a concession by the State, the court found no basis on which Mr Mushonga should be placed on his defence.

He was subsequently acquitted.

Adv Mpofu convinced the court that the stones in question were used for some of the development programmes in the constituency and that he never converted any to his personal use.

He proved before the court that Mr Mushonga had no reason to steal the stones worth US$700 when he had pledged to finance various construction projects in the same constituency.

The witnesses, during the trial, confirmed that Mr Mushonga was spearheading various development projects with his own money among them dip tanks, classrooms at schools and clinics.

Mr Mushonga was arrested in March this year, on allegations of stealing 3,5 cubic metres of quarry stones, which had been donated to Mukodzongi Clinic.

It was the State's case that businessman Mr Sydney Chidamba donated the stones for the building of the clinic and Mr Mushonga converted the extra stones to his personal use.

It was alleged he ferried the stones to Shuto Primary School, allegedly for personal use but the defence argued there was an approved project at the school.

Stones worth US$100 were recovered at the school.

The defence argues that the remaining stones were used to build a school in the same constituency, one of the MP's five community development projects.

Source - TNZ