Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Former Foreign Affairs Minister and G40 loyalist Walter Mzembi is “fit as a fiddle” contrary to claims by his lawyer Mr Job Sikhala that he is critically ill and unfit to stand trial. Mzembi is facing charges of theft involving $1,6 million of trust property at Harare magistrates’ courts. The trial has had numerous postponements on the grounds that Mzembi was unfit to stand trial due to illness.
On Saturday rumours went round that Mzembi had passed on in South Africa. But yesterday Mzembi was caught on camera fit and jovial, apparently working in his office. Mzembi’s allies released a video of him alive and well, working in his office.
In the video, that went viral on social media platforms, a raconteur stresses that it is a lie that Mzembi had died.
Mr Sikhala last week told a Harare regional magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya that Mzembi was critically ill in South Africa and was not fit to stand trial. The lawyer said Mzembi was critically ill and needed prayers.
He alleges Mzembi is in South Africa where he is receiving treatment for colon cancer.
Said Mr Sikhala: “The circumstances are beyond all of us, I had to fly to South Africa to get my own personal assessment of the condition of my client on Saturday and my client is seriously indisposed to stand trial.
“Accused will not be able to stand trial, not in the near future. Join us in prayer so that he gets through this. It is something very serious and on the next date I don’t think anything would have changed.”
When asked for comment yesterday on why he lied in court, Mr Sikhala insisted Mzembi is ill.
“I am a professional and I took oath to dispense my duties as a lawyer with honest decorum. I am briefed by the same Walter Mzembi that the video was taken in 2010 in his Zimbabwe Tourism Authority offices and that State security agents had put a voice over on an old video to look authentic and defining his current state of health.”
How a man critically ill and in need of the nation’s prayers was able to brief his lawyer remains a mystery.