Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
The State intends to call 22 000 witnesses in a case in which businessman-cum-musician Energy Mutodi is accused of swindling US$2 million from desperate home seekers in Mutare.Mutodi is facing similar charges involving more than US$6 million in Harare .
Last week Mutodi filed an application for refusal of further remand and cancellation of seizure order. He argued that investigations into the case were supposed to have been completed last year.
“There will be no prejudice to the State case should Mutodi be removed from remand while the proposed 22 000 witnesses are being dealt with.
“On Mutodi’s last appearance in court, the State sought a further postponement on the basis that the investigating officer intended to record statements from 22 000 witnesses. Prior to his arrest, police seized the bank account of the trust to which Mutodi is a trustee and signatory. The trust and Mutodi continue to suffer financial prejudice as operation of the trust has been halted,” said Mutodi.
Mutodi said his constitutional right to a trial within a reasonable period was violated. He allegedly formed the National Housing Development Trust in Mutare which he used to defraud unsuspecting civil servants.
He allegedly lured civil servants to make monthly subscriptions to NHDT for the purchase of land in Mutare’s Gimboki South housing project.
He promised them housing stands but reportedly converted US$1 699 620 to his own use prejudicing over 1 500 civil servants.