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Suspected Gold Smuggler Acquitted - Zimbabwe Today
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Suspected Gold Smuggler Acquitted


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A Harare man who was arrested while allegedly trying to smuggle 11,4 kilogrammes of gold through the Plumtree Border Post, is now a free man after he was acquitted of the charges.

The gold was valued at $422 775.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo on Tuesday last week, cleared Fisher Matura (35) of all the three counts he was facing on the grounds that the prosecution failed to prove a solid case against him.

Matura, who was being represented by Harare lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya of Rubaya, Chatambudza Legal Practitioners, did not dispute that he was found with the precious metal.

He denied any knowledge of the presence of the gold in the vehicle.

His defence was that he had borrowed the vehicle in question from Nevison Zvizhinji, who is the owner.

Matura further argued that he was going to Botswana to buy vehicle spare parts for his business and never at any time got to know that he was in fact carrying gold underneath the vehicle until the time the police officers who arrested him discovered it.

In her ruling, Justice Moyo noted that police investigations established that the vehicle belonged to Zvizhinji.

The gold also belonged to Zvizhinji who admitted to police that he created secret compartments to conceal his gold after losing gold to robbers.

“From the evidence of the three State witness, the court cannot, as a matter of fact, make a finding that the accused did create the secret compartments and hide the gold in question in them,” said Justice Moyo.

“The other two State witnesses render the factual basis for such finding flawed.”

The court, said Justice Moyo, was baffled by the conduct of the police witnesses in the matter.

“Either they were not sure of the manner in which they should conduct investigations and also how evidence issues are to be presented in possession cases or they deliberately threw the spanners into the works so that the State case was crippled,” she said.

Although the court put Matura on his defence, despite the fact that the prosecution case was tenuous, the man was not shaken and maintained his defence.

Though the prosecutor Mr Whisper Mabhaudhi moved a motion to incriminate Matura on circumstantial evidence, Justice Moyo refused to accept the argument. She said the court needed tangible evidence and proven facts to infer guilt.

“Such facts are unfortunately not before the court,” she said. “I hold the view that the State failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Police intercepted Matura at the Plumtree Border Post on September 25 last year while he was allegedly trying to smuggle the gold valued at $422,775 into Botswana.

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