Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
The Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) acting General Manager Luke Akino was yesterday dumped by his lawyer who renounced agency following the presiding magistrate’s order to proceed to the defense case.
Regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya dismissed Akino and his accomplice Davis Murangari’s applications to have the matter postponed for two months pending finalisation of their review filed at the High Court upon dismissal of their application for discharge at the close of the State case.
Representing Murangari, Farayi Mushoriwa was the first to apply for a postponement advising the court that he had filed for a review at the High Court seeking the setting aside of the court’s decision to dismiss the application for discharge at the close of the State case.
Mushoriwa further told the court that he had failed to file for an urgent chamber application for stay of proceedings because they had written several letters to the Clerk of Court Regional to have the record transcribed but it hadn’t been transcribed, so he was just seeking indulgence from the court to pave way for the consideration of the review.
Representing Akino, Muyengwa Motsi associated himself to Mushoriwa’s submissions adding that there was no prejudice to the State if they granted a two months’ postponement.
Chief Law Officer Micheal Reza opposed the application stating that without an order from the High Court, trial was supposed to continue.
“The defence knows what it’s supposed to do, an order from the High Court is all that is needed because as it stands, there is nothing before the court staying the proceedings.
“They have no idea when the matter will be heard in the High Court so it would be a judicious decision to proceed the matter to defence, and above all, these criminal abuse matter are of public interest which should be dealt with timeously lest, the court of public opinion will continue accusing us of ‘catch and release’,” said Reza.
Mujaya ruled that he was not convinced by the defence’s submissions and would only stop the trial from proceeding when the order was made available.
Mujaya’s ruling prompted Motsi to renounce agency from the matter as it was not in the interest of justice that their application was dismissed.
Akino was given an allowance of two weeks to engage a new lawyer and acquaint himself to the record.
Akino and Murangari are accused of corruptly awarding a $168 000 consultancy services contract to their acquaintance Thomas Mashungupa.