Top lawyer granted re­fusal of fur­ther re­mand

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Tanaka Mrewa and Cyn­thia Dube

A TOP Bu­l­awayo lawyer who is fac­ing al­le­ga­tions of con­niv­ing with two ac­com­plices to forge ti­tle deeds and sell a res­i­den­tial stand with­out the owner’s knowl­edge has been granted an ap­pli­ca­tion for re­fusal of fur­ther re­mand.

Brighton Ndove al­legedly in col­lu­sion with Ms Si­man­gal­iso Muringi and Mr Ed­mund Makonese, forged an iden­tity card and re­ceived $16 000 for the stand. Bu­l­awayo mag­is­trate Mr Batanai Tuwe granted the ap­pli­ca­tion on Fri­day af­ter Ndove’s lawyer, Mr Ml­weli­wenku­l­uleko Ncube made sub­mis­sions that chal­lenged the state’s fraud al­le­ga­tions.

Mr Tuwe said the State lacked solid ev­i­dence to in­crim­i­nate the lawyer and his two al­leged ac­com­plices.

Ndove, who is a se­nior part­ner at Ndove, Museta and Part­ners law firm in the city, al­legedly con­nived with an ac­com­plice who claimed to be Sikhany­isiwe Phiri to de­fraud Mr Ma­ja­hana Moyo of his money.

In de­liv­er­ing his judg­ment, Mr Tuwe said the law states that for an ac­cused per­son to be placed on re­mand, the State should prove beyond rea­son­able doubt that a sus­pect may have com­mit­ted the crime.

“The law states that the State has to pro­vide rea­son­able ev­i­dence that in­crim­i­nates the ac­cused per­son. The State should know, as­sess and an­a­lyse all es­sen­tial el­e­ments of fraud. The mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion made should cause prej­u­dice and should be un­law­ful. Both state and de­fence coun­sel agree to the stated rea­sons, whether or not proven or in­ves­ti­gated by the state. “The house in ques­tion here was legally trans­ferred. The buyer suf­fered no prej­u­dice as the house that he bought is in his name legally. The ac­cused per­son did not mis­lead the buyer. Had there been a false state­ment supplied to the buyer it would have been enough to in­crim­i­nate the buyer. “The state mis­led it­self into be­liev­ing that fraud can be com­mit­ted upon a per­son who has not had the mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion. The ap­pli­ca­tion is hereby suc­cess­ful”. Sub­mis­sions made by the three le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tives stated that their clients were falsely charged. Mr Ncube stated that his client, Ndove, had acted in his le­gal ca­pac­ity to trans­fer the house into the buyer’s name. “My client had no ca­pac­ity to ques­tion the le­gal­ity of the al­legedly forged iden­tity card as it was ac­com­pa­nied by many af­fi­davits that had gone through hands of po­lice of­fi­cers for ver­i­fi­ca­tion,” said Mr Ncube. The court over­ruled sub­mis­sion made by prose­cu­tor Mr Ti­nashe Dzipe that if prej­u­dice is suf­fered by a third party, it would be suf­fi­cient to file a fraud re­port. Mr Dzipe told the court that on Jan­uary 16 last year, Ms Si­man­gal­iso Muringi and Mr Ed­mund Makonese went to Ndove’s of­fices where they in­tro­duced Mr Ne­gion Ma­ja­hana Moyo to a woman they said was Sikhany­isiwe Phiri, the reg­is­tered “owner” of a res­i­den­tial stand which was on sale. “Phiri was in pos­ses­sion of a fake na­tional iden­tity card, reg­is­tra­tion num­ber 66-295251-L-66. Ndove al­legedly pro­cessed the change of own­er­ship us­ing forged doc­u­ments. The ac­tual value of the stand was $30 000,” said Mr Dzipe. On re­al­is­ing that he had been duped, Mr Moyo re­ported the mat­ter to the po­lice lead­ing to the ar­rest of Ndove. — @tan­nytkay

Brighton Ndove

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