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Former councillor Mlambo’s fraud case appeal gra...
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Former councillor Mlambo’s fraud case appeal granted by the High Court

Charamba Mlambo

 

Gilbert Munetsi

Former Chitungwiza Ward 7 councillor Charamba Mlambo has taken his fight to the High Court where he seeks to either have his lower court sentence reviewed altogether, or is granted an extension period to restitute the complainant in his case.

Mlambo was on December 20, 2022, charged with and convicted of fraud as defined in the Criminal law (Codification and Reform Act: Chapter 9:23) and sentenced to 36 months imprisonment.

Twelve months were suspended for five years on condition that he does not commit a similar crime and another 12 on condition he restitutes the complainant, Isaac Nhamburo, of the US$11 900 allegedly owed.

The remaining 12 months were commuted to 420 hours of community service, which he has already performed at Tasimuka Primary School in Seke, Chitungwiza.

Earlier, Nhamburo had taken Mlambo to court on allegations that the latter sold him a residential stand in Unit G, Seke, which he paid US$11 900 for. It later turned out that the property, in fact, belonged to one Herbert Chiroodza.

In a new twist to the matter, however, the former local leader, through his legal representatives, Tavenhave and Machingauta Law Firm, has successfully appealed against the judgement by Chitungwiza magistrate Winfielder Tiatara, which appeal has been granted by high court judge Justice Rogers Manyangadze.

The Justice, in his verdict passed in Harare on May 26 ( Case No. HC B566/23) noted:

“Appeal against refusal by the magistrates’ court to suspend the operation of restitution pending appeal in case number CRB CHTP 2525/22 be and is hereby allowed.

“The order of the court a quo dated 24 April 2023 dismissing appellant’s application for the suspension of the operation of the order of restitution pending appeal be and is hereby set aside and in place, thereof be substituted with the following order;

“In the result application for the suspension of the operation of the order of restitution pending appeal be and is hereby granted.”

Soon after having been handed his sentence, in February Mlambo, through his lawyers, went on to cite wanton abuse of office by the magistrate who presided over his case, Tiatara, and futher challenged the merits of the complainant.

“The court a quo erred in holding and concluding that the appellant and the complainant entered into an agreement for the sale of a stand despite there being no written agreement of sale that was produced to that effect.

“The court a quo erred in finding that the appellant gave the complainant an offer letter, despite the offer letter in question not bearing any details of the accused and despite the offer letter not having been signed by either the appellant or the complainant.

“The court quo erred in finding that the appellant executed the acknowledgement of receipt in question, despite there being no reliable and cogent evidence that was placed before the court to that effect.

“Lastly, the court erred in disregarding the version of the appellant and complainant enjoyed were in a business and political relationship that turned sour despite the applicant having adduced and led plentiful evidence to that effect,” Tavenhave and Machingauta had written in their appeal dated February 17.

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