Neville Mutsvangwa Spends Weekend In Jail
19 May 2024
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By Court Correspondent | The High Court of Zimbabwe has reserved judgment on the bail application of Neville Mutsvangwa, who now faces the prospect of spending another weekend in remand prison. Mutsvangwa, implicated in serious allegations, is charged with three counts of illegal foreign currency dealings and one count of possessing an unlicensed Starlink router. These charges place him at the center of a notable legal and economic controversy.

Josephine Sande, Mutsvangwa’s legal representative, presented arguments for bail, contending that the prosecution’s case against her client and his co-accused—Elias Majachani and Simbarashe Tichingana—is weak. Sande criticized the remand court’s decision to deny bail, asserting that it was based on erroneous considerations. She argued that the evidence against Mutsvangwa, which included several Visa cards seized from his residence in Mount Pleasant, was not only insubstantial but also irrelevant to the charges of illegal currency trading and money laundering.

Sande’s legal argument emphasized that mere possession of Visa cards does not constitute a criminal offense nor does it necessarily imply involvement in illicit financial activities. This point is pivotal in challenging the assumptions underpinning the prosecution’s case and the remand court’s rationale for denying bail.

The decision by Mr. Mangosi in the magistrates’ court to deny bail was predicated on the fear that Mutsvangwa and his co-accused might abscond if released. This concern is typical in cases involving significant financial crimes, where the stakes are high and the accused have the means to evade legal proceedings. The court’s caution is reflective of a broader judicial discretion intended to prevent interference with the administration of justice.

The High Court’s reservation of judgment indicates a deliberate and careful consideration of the arguments presented by both the defense and the prosecution. This pause in the decision-making process signifies the complexities involved in balancing the rights of the accused with the interests of public and economic security.