The National Prosecution Authority has declined to prosecute Gweru-based businesswoman and philanthropist, Dr Smelly Dube on fraud charges over acquisitions and sale of state land around Gweru due to lack of evidence.
Dr Dube owns vast tracts of land in Gweru, Shurugwi, Zvishavane and Bulawayo under her company, River Valley Properties (Pvt Ltd).
The land was developed into residential and commercial stands where thousands have since benefited.
She was arrested by the Special Anti-Corruption Commission Unit (Saccu) in March last year but the matter has been dragging in the courts with Saccu unable to provide concrete evidence against her.
Through her legal counsel, Dr Dube successfully challenged her placement on remand at Bulawayo High Court under case Number 343/21.
In her ruling, Justice Nokuthula Moyo found that Dr Dube’s arrest was unlawful and her rights infringed and put on ice all court proceedings against the businesswoman.
According to documents seen by the Herald, the National Prosecuting Authority has since declined to prosecute Dr Dube citing a lack of evidence.
“The suspect has been on remand for a long with investigators failing to bring forward evidence to support the alleged charges preferred on the suspected.
“The NPA, therefore, declines to prosecute the suspect due to lack of evidence,” read part of the document.
Dr Dube’s legal team led by Advocate Lewis Uriri welcomed the prosecution’s decision saying justice has since prevailed for their client.
“It is with great pleasure to notify the members of the public that our client, Smelly Dube who was arrested and charged with three counts of fraud and alternatively charged with conspiracy to criminal abuse of duty has been exonerated after all charges were dropped.
“Justice has seen to be done as there was patently no reasonable suspicion that an offence has been committed,” read the joint press statement by Dr Dube’s legal team, which also included Mssrs Adv Joshua Chirambwe, Mr MacPatrick Zinyakatira, Mr Esau Mandipa and Mr Nqobani Sithole.
The legal team said there were no reasonable grounds to incriminate their client since she had all the necessary documents for her housing projects.
“The withdrawal of the charges is premised on the fact the NPA declined to prosecute because there was absolutely no evidence that linked our client, Smelly Dube to the alleged offence after over a year from the date of her arrest,” the statement read further.
“The allegations were rather false and actuated with malice and without any iota to pursue the interests of justice.”
Dr Dube could not hide her joy following the prosecution’s decision to let her off the hook. She said she was happy that the New Dispensation left the matter to the courts for justice to prevail.
“I am happy that now I have been vindicated,” said the businesswoman who has won several local and international business awards.
“I am even happy that the new dispensation did not want to involve politics but left it for the courts to prove and today justice won the day.
“I believe in hard work and my work speaks for itself. I was not deterred I am even stronger and determined than before.”
President Mnangagwa is on record saying anyone implicated in corruption or any criminal activities should let justice take its course.