Senior Court Reporter
HENRIETTA Rushwaya and her three alleged accomplices accused of attempting to smuggle 6kg of gold through the VIP route at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport yesterday demanded a trial date saying it is nearly a year after her arrest with the State failing to prosecute them.
Rushwaya jointly appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje with her subordinate from the Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation, Gift Karanda, and two members of the Central Intelligence Organisation, Stephen Tserai and Raphios Mufandauya.
The four through lawyer Mr Peter Patisani said they will apply for refusal of further remand unless given a trial date, meaning that their bail conditions will no longer apply, that they get their passports back and that the State will have to summon them if it wants to resume the trial.
Through lawyer Mr Peter Patisani, the four demanded the trial date after the State led by Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti applied for the matter to be postponed to March 17.
Mr Mutsokoti told the court that there were extra-territorial investigations in the United Arab Emirates, the destination on Rushwaya’s ticket, which are yet to be undertaken and happen to be stalling progress towards their prosecution.
Mr Patisani, in opposing the State’s application, said the defence will only accept the postponement after Mr Mutsokoti took an undertaking that they will furnish them with a trial date when they return to court on March 17. “The State did not tell the court whether they will give us a trial date on this day. It is a year and two months since the accused were arrested and the State has been giving us the same reasons.
“If the State can make an undertaking to furnish us with a trial date we will reluctantly accede to the postponement, but its failure will make us apply for refusal of further remand on the day,” he said.
Mr Patisani, then placed the State on notice for their application for refusal of further remand before Mr Mambanje postponed the matter to March 17.