HomeNewsProsecutor quits as Zacc probe starts

Prosecutor quits as Zacc probe starts

BY RICHARD MUPONDE/PRESTIGE MUNTANGA

BULAWAYO prosecutor Thobekani Nyathi, who was implicated in an alleged corrupt activity involving principal public prosecutor Chris Mutangadura, reportedly resigned after the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) began investigating him for criminal abuse of office, NewsDay has learnt.

Nyathi had been sucked into Mutangadura’s alleged criminal abuse of office case which is under investigations by Zacc, case number HCR 21/05/2020. The docket is now complete.

Mutangadura was summoned by Zacc investigators three weeks ago with the view of detaining him and taking him to court.

But Zacc chairperson Loice Moyo- Matanda allegedly intervened and stopped the process, leading to the docket being shelved.

However Matanda-Moyo has denied the allegations.

Mutangadura was under investigation for corruptly aiding his business partner Lungisani Ncube to get a forensic examination of forged papers by a private handwriting expert, LT Nhari, after bypassing government expert, Clara Beatrice Tendai Gombakomba.

The report was made by Lovemore Kutamahufa.

Mutangadura had allegedly lied that Gombakomba had no capacity to examine the samples, an assertion she denied in her statement to the Zacc investigators.

Ncube was accusing his partner Kutamahufa, lawyer Jonathan Tsvangirai and FBC bank manager Tazviona Mutandwa of forging his signature and tendering his property as collateral for a bank loan facility.

It is alleged that when investigations on Mutangadura commenced, Nyathi, who was the trial prosecutor, resigned.

Nyathi confirmed the resignation yesterday

“Sorry, I am no longer a public prosecutor. I used to deal with it (Kutamahufa’s case), but I left prosecution. I left a long time ago. Kutamahufa’s case is now being handled by another prosecutor. I will forward you the contact numbers,” he said.

However, a source in the prosecution said Nyathi resigned after Zacc made investigations concerning Mutangadura’s case.

“He resigned and is now in private practice with a law firm in Gwanda. Remember, there was also a letter of complaint against him which had been written by the accused (Kutamahufa), accusing him of aiding the complainant (Ncube) with documents so that he could take them to a private handwriting expert. He had been asked to recuse himself from the matter,” said the source.

The prosecutor had also been caught in the middle of a storm after he allegedly connived with the complainant, Ncube, to remove one of the accused Tsvangirai from the charge sheet reportedly in a desperate bid to get a State witness against Kutamahufa.

He reportedly took instructions directly from Mutangadura to prosecute Kutamahufa using the fraudulent private handwriting expert‘s report.

Tsvangirai had been charged together with Kutamahufa and FBC bank manager Mutandwa in a US$75 000 FBC Bank loan deal following recommendations from Mutangadura.

Tsvangirai had reportedly been engaged by FBC Bank to register the bond.

Kutamahufa is director in Oman Obrie Private Limited, which benefited from the loan.

Reports are that Nyathi, after conniving with Ncube, on January 29 last year approached his lawyers Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers to write to the prosecution to stop charging Tsvangirai.

“We write to you at the (instance) of Lungisani Ncube, the complainant in this matter, who has advised us that he is not aggrieved by, and is of the view that Jonathan Tsvangirai’s conduct in this matter does not render him crime liable. Our client is, therefore, of the view that it is not necessary that he be prosecuted. We hope you find the above in order,” wrote Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers.

The move also prompted Kutamahufa on May 21, last year to write a letter of complaint against Nyathi’s conduct to his bosses in Bulawayo and asked for him to recuse himself because of his closeness with Ncube as they reportedly hailed from the same home area in Gwanda.

Nyathi is also accused of aiding Ncube to retrieve copies of the alleged forged documents from the police to the private handwriting expert Nhari so that he could regularise his initial report on Ncube’s alleged forged signature after he was roped in by his former boss, Mutangadura.

However, in their statements to Zacc investigators, National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe (NPAZ) bosses distanced themselves from Mutangadura, adding that they were not aware of how he got involved in the case.

In her statement to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), the former head of NPAZ in Bulawayo, Martha Cheda, said she did not know how Kutamahufa’s docket found itself in Mutangadura’s hands.

Acting Deputy Prosecutor General, Justin Uladi, in his statement to Zacc also said according to records at the head office, there was no evidence that the docket was transferred from Bulawayo to Harare.

Director of the Department of Forensic Sciences in the Home Affairs ministry, Bothwell Takura Mutandiro, also told investigators that the final analyses on handwriting samples were not done because the department was awaiting additional samples from police which they had requested.

Government handwriting expert, Gombakomba, who is also deputy director in the Department of Forensic Sciences, told Zacc investigators that she wrote a report to the Officer-in-Charge CID Fraud in Bulawayo requesting additional samples so that an examination could be concluded.

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