Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
A State witness who gave incriminating evidence in the trial of a former district intelligence officer Mbereki Mbizo Nyathi, who is accused of concealing the location and ownership of a BMW, is now on the run.
Nyathi (44) is jointly charged with Ismail Abdurrahman (30), Hillary Nduna (40), Samson Marufu (34), Noah Muneka (43) and Mavis Shamiso Taruvinga (36).
The witness Emmanuel Chansa, failed to turn up for court on his second day of testifying and was issued with a warrant of arrest.
Harare magistrate Ms Bianca Makwande postponed the matter to March 29.
In his testimony before going AWOL, Chansa told the court that he was approached by Marufu who was looking for number plates to affix to his vehicle.
“I am a mechanic. When Marufu approached me I then contacted Knowledge Chiteve who supplied the number plates,” said Chansa.
“Marufu also said he wanted a registration book for the same vehicle and I introduced him to Muneka.”
Asked by the prosecutor whether or not Chiteve and Muneka were employed at the Central Vehicle Registration, Chansa said no.
In his defense Marufu told the court that Chansa was the one who introduced him to Bernard Chiweshe who was selling the vehicle.
“Chiweshe promised me that Chansa would assist me with registration of the vehicle. I paid Chansa who acquired the services of Muneka for the registration of the vehicle,” said Marufu.
The six are facing money laundering charges.
They are represented by their lawyer Messrs Admire Rubaya, Pisirai Kwenda and Simon Simango.
The informant in the matter is Nedbank Motor Vehicle Company, South Africa.
The prosecutor Ms Ressy Nyamombe alleged that sometime in January, 2015 Philemon Mhlongo purported to be a South African and approached Nedbank in Pretoria with an application for a loan to purchase a BMW 320D vehicle
Mhlongo supplied fake documents and lied that he was employed by Geotechnical Engineering.
The application was approved and Mhlongo took the BMW valued at ZAR316 508, 09 and disappeared.
The vehicle was smuggled into Zimbabwe.
In September 2015, Marufu with the assistance of Muneka and Taruvinga managed to fraudulently acquire registration plates ADU 6982 from another BMW vehicle.
The accused purported that the owner Simon Chitate had lost his number plates and they created a fake national identity card in his name.
The plates were affixed to the BMW acquired in South Africa.
On August 6, 2016 detectives received information that Nyathi was in possession of a stolen vehicle.
The court heard that Abdurrahman obtained the vehicle from Nduna who in turn obtained it from Marufu.