MDC Alliance’s parliamentary candidate for Mutare North, Godfrey Munyamana, who was suspected to be on the run over an alleged $380 000 fraud case after failing to pitch up for court proceedings, has successfully cancelled his warrant of arrest.
The businessman was issued with a warrant of arrest after he failed to appear for trial before Harare provincial magistrate Elisha Singano on June 14, 2018.
In his application to have the warrant of arrest cancelled, Munyamana advised the court that he was sick on the day and produced proof to substantiate his claims.
“My client has proof that he checked into hospital to seek medical attention on the day that he was expected to come to court. I submit that the default was not wilful and pray that the court cancels the warrant of arrest which was issued,” Munyamana’s lawyer, Rungano Mahuni, said.
However, prosecutor Michael Reza had argued that Munyamana was in wilful default and only approached the courts to cancel the warrant after media reports that he was on the run.
“Why did the accused person not come on the earliest possible date if he is being honest? The proof he brought shows that he went to the hospital and was discharged that very day. His warrant of arrest ought to be confirmed and a default fine ordered,” Reza said.
But Singano cautioned Munyamana and cancelled the warrant.
Allegations against Munyamana relate to a botched sale of a house to one Frank Humbe who later realised after trying to move into the property that it had been sold to other parties.
The State alleges that he was subsequently prejudiced $380 000 and the criminal proceedings are running parallel to a deed of settlement that the two entered, which is pending before the High Court.
In the civil case, Munyamana claimed Humbe had not made full payment and an agreement had been sought for him to move out of the property once the balance was cleared.
Mahuni has questioned why Munyamana’s wife, Fadzai, has been dragged into the fraud issue, yet the matter was between her husband and Humbe.
However, Reza argued that Fadzai was charged after the State established that she was party to the fraudulent transaction because she had signed an agreement of sale as a witness.
Reza further claims that after receiving the money, Fadzai conspired with her husband to terminate the agreement, despite receiving the full amount of $380 000 from Humbe.
According to Reza, sometime in 2013, Munyamana and his wife advertised their house and Humbe expressed interest.
The court heard that Humbe later met with Munyamana and after negotiations he eventually paid $380 000 to the couple, but they later failed to vacate the premises and the matter was taken to the police.