By A Correspondent| Harare Magistrate has acquitted businessman Michael Ndoro of fraud charges.
The magistrate Clever Tsikwa ruled that the state’s presentation of evidence was insufficient to establish the essential elements required to prove the accused’s guilt.
Ndoro had been accused of orchestrating the removal of his former wife, Precious Jenami nee Ndoro, from her directorial position at Zororo Energy Limited.
In his ruling, Magistrate Tsikwa criticized the state’s handling of the case, stating that the presented issues lacked relevance to the core matter at hand.
“I find Michael Ndoro not guilty therefore acquitted of all fraud charges and wrong doing,” Tsikwa said.
Tsikwa emphasized that during the cross-examination of the accused, the state had failed to address the crucial components necessary to demonstrate Ndoro’s involvement in the alleged crime.
“During cross-examination of the Accused person, the state failed to canvass the essential elements to the extent of proving that the Accused person committed the offence in question.
“The state tried to bring issues which had no material bearing to the case in a bid to close the stables whilst the Horses had already bolted.
“The honourable court is implored to consider that the state failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and what it failed to establish in the state case was failed equally in the defence case and it is now hallowed in repetition and now a well beaten path that an Accused cannot be used to establish a case for the state and there is no law of reverse onus cast upon the Accused person to establish evidence in terms of the constitutional mandate,” said Magistrate Tsikwa.
The Magistrate further noted that the state took risk by using ZERA as a complainant when it completely denied ever complaining or being prejudiced.
“However, throughout the case it was clear that Precious Ndoro is the one that orchestrated all the charges and reported to the police in a bid to claim US$100 000,” added Tsikwa.
He added that the accused had the right to exercise his rights as the brainchild and superintendent of the company and could appoint or disappoint directors/shareholders as he wished.
“The state completely failed to demonstrated Precious’s involvement in the formation of Zororo and instead exposed plethora of company registrar internal discrepancies and loopholes that the Company registrar admitted to in court,” said Tsikwa.
The magistrate further emphasized that the burden of proof rested with the state, and in this instance, they had not succeeded in establishing their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
During trial, Defense led by Everson Chatambudza of Admire Rubaya of Rubaya and Chatambudza Legal Practitioners also revealed that there was a court order in place forbidding Precious from litigating the accused person after dragging him in courts over frivolous charges since the divorce in 2019.
Notably, this verdict follows a similar outcome in July when Magistrate Mangosi acquitted Ndoro’s business partner, Tunika Mkahanana on the grounds that state had failed to establish a prima facie case linking her to the alleged offense.
Speaking after the ruling, Ndoro said he feels vindicated and that the law prevailed as there was no fraud, forgery nor prejudice on any party.
He added that this matter was moulded to discredit Zororo Energey Company and his reputation.
“It was malicious prosecution designed to obstruct business by deterring potential funders from investing as Zororo Energy was concluding financial closure” he said.