Home » Judicial » Mwonzora’s Passport Application Thrown Out

Magistrate Mr Milton Serima has dismissed an application by MDC-T secretary-general Douglas Mwonzora, facing allegations of theft of trust property involving US$15 000, to have his passport released permanently. He said it was too premature to permanently release the passport to him, adding that Mwonzora could always make an application for a temporary release whenever he intended to travel. In his application yesterday, Mwonzora argued that as the festive season was approaching, he needed to travel with his family.

Mwonzora added that he was abiding by his bail conditions and had religiously brought the passport back whenever it was given to him on temporary basis.

However, prosecutor Miss Sharon Mashavira opposed the application on the basis that the State still has the same fears that it had when Mwonzora first appeared in court.

“The accused was granted bail by the court and the same court, in its wisdom, endorsed those stringent conditions in order to cure the State’s fear.

“Therefore, it won’t be in the interest of justice to permanently release the passport to him,” she said.

Mr Serima concurred with the State.

Mwonzora is jointly charged with his legal partner Joseph Terera. Prosecutor Miss Sharon Mashavira alleged that in 2012, Mr Justin Matenda, who is a project manager at a local mining firm, obtained a US$200 000 loan from Ecobank that was supposed to be settled within one year. Matenda failed to pay back the money, resulting in him being sued by Ecobank in July 2014.

The court was told that an agreement was made between Ecobank and Mr Matenda that resulted in him having to pay US$15 000 a month for 12 months.

Allegations are that in the lawsuit, Mr Matenda was represented by Tendai Toto from Mwonzora and Associates law firm, in which Terera is a partner.

Toto allegedly told Mr Matenda that all payments were to be done through the law firm’s Barclays Bank account.

On August 5, Mr Matenda deposited an initial US$15 000 into that account, which had Terera and Mwonzora as signatories.

The court heard that Mr Matenda continued to receive letters from Ecobank indicating that they were yet to receive the money as per their agreement.

Investigations revealed that the money had allegedly been withdrawn by Terera and Mwonzora, who converted it to their own use.

Source : The Herald