Zimbabwe: State Admits Failure to Bring Back 'Fugitive' Mzembi

Photo: The Herald
Former Tourism and Hospitality minister, Walter Mzembi.

The State has admitted its failure to track and bring back former Tourism minister Walter Mzembi to stand trial for several criminal charges he is facing.

Mzembi is jointly charged with Tourism Ministry consultant Aaron Dzingira Mushoriwa and the former permanent secretary Margret Sangarwe. They are accused of misappropriating funds meant for the 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly.

In another case, the former Minister is accused of donating televisions to Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD), United Family International Church (UFIC) and Zimbabwe Christian Church (ZCC) unlawfully.

Prosecutor Brian Vhito Tuesday confirmed that the State was having challenges bringing Mzembi who claims he is not feeling well in South Africa.

Zimbabwe has placed Mzembi on Interpol's red alert and Tuesday moved to separate him from his accomplices for progress sake.

"The state is facing challenges in securing the attendance of Mzembi and we have decided to separate the trials," Vito said.

Mzembi was issued with several arrest warrants after he failed to return for his trial. He early this year successfully applied for a foreign visit to South Africa claiming that he is battling colon cancer.

His lawyer, Job Sikhala told Harare magistrate, Hosea Mujaya that his client is critically ill and unable to stand trial anytime soon.

He went on to ask the nation "to pray for Mzembi" since his condition has reached a disturbing level.

However, a video depicting the former minister in good health went viral on social media days after Sikhala's claims forcing the State to try and engage the Interpol to bring him.

The prosecutor did not explain further details with regard to their efforts to bring Mzembi back home.

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