By Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu
An aspiring MDC National Assembly for Insiza South has been arrested for stealing nine cattle with the assistance of two accomplices who are still at large.
Honest Mafu (34) of Mthabisi Village in Filabusi, was not asked to plead when he appeared briefly before Gwanda magistrate, Mr Obedience Matare, facing stock theft charges.
He was remanded in custody to tomorrow, pending a ruling on his bail application.
In his submissions, his legal counsel Mr Mc Allister Ncube of Mabhikwa and Partners, said the State did not have compelling reasons to contest granting of bail.
He said his client would not skip the country as that would interfere with his political career.
“Your Worship, the constitution states that a person has a legal right to be granted bail unless there are compelling reasons. The State has failed to give any compelling reasons that can be used as a basis to deny my client bail.
“Also my client has a lot to lose if he doesn’t abide by the conditions of his bail. He is an aspiring MDC Member of Parliament in Filabusi and if he skips the country that will mean his political career will come to an end. He is also a family man which makes him an appropriate candidate for bail,” said Mr Ncube.
“Investigations are still in progress Your Worship as the police are yet to recover fake Vet Department permits, fake clearance form and part of the stolen cattle. If released, accused person will interfere with investigations,” he said. The allegations against Mafu are that he connived with two other people and stole the beasts from Riverbrock in Collen Bawn on Wednesday last week.
“Mafu connived with two other people who are still at large and stole nine cattle, eight belonging to Mr Eviness Zibongwana and one belonging to Mr Bongani Nkomo.
“The offence came to light after his two accomplices who are on the run were seen loading the cattle onto a truck at Jessie Mine. The two accused persons upon seeing that they had been spotted, fled. A follow up was made with the assistance of the truck driver which led to Mafu’s arrest after a trap,” said Mr Gondongwe.
He said Mafu was found with a sim card that was used for communication during the commission of the offence.
Mr Gondongwe said an EcoCash transaction incriminating Mafu was also found.