Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Muchuchuti Guwuriro yesterday ruled that former Cabinet Minister Petronella Kagonye who is facing three counts of fraud has a case to answer in respect of the third count and therefore, must be put to her defence.
Kagonye had applied for discharge at the close of the State’s case.
Mrs Guwuriro acquitted Kagonye of the other two counts and left one where she is accused of taking 20 computers from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) for her constituency.
In acquitting Kagonye, the magistrate said the investigating officer and the State indicated that there was no sufficient evidence to build a case on her.
Kagonye was accused of swindling Shingiriro Housing Cooperative of US18 000 after she allegedly received money promising them residential stands.
Mrs Guwuriro further stated that the matter crumbles since there was no bookkeeper who is outside the country.
She said the availability of the bookkeeper was critical in the investigations and the evidence of Joyce Chiroodza, the complainant, was not enough to sustain the allegations.
The magistrate also said that the documents of the cooperative were also not enough.
She said the other matters were withdrawn by the complainants who alleged that they were coerced to report lies against the accused.
The magistrate said Kagonye should be put to the defence case to answer to questions on the location of the computers that were taken from Potraz.
She further said that it will be Kagonye who can tell the court who her brother gave the computers and how many were received.
She said the investigating officer did not record the statements from former Minister Supa Mandiwanzira, Catherine Defura and Evans Kagonye who could have given light on the questions raised in court but can only do so by putting the accused to her defence.