Zimbabwe: Mugabe Loyalist Tries to Use Ex-Leader's Funeral to Escape Trial

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and former First Lady Grace Mugabe during the funeral service for Robert Mugabe.
15 September 2019

A bid by Zanu PF loyalist Rodney Dangarembizi to delay his trial Friday using late former President Robert Mugabe's funeral has been scorned by the presiding magistrate for an attempt to personalise the event.

Dangarembizi, a former Zanu PF youth league member, is being tried for theft.

He is accused of diverting US$580 000 belonging to a South African based investor, who is the chairman of Goldstone, to personal use.

Desperate to be excused from trial during Mugabe's mourning period, the suspect ended up dumping his lawyer, Alec Muchadehama for his case to be postponed.

But Harare magistrate, Christopher Maturure dismissed an application he filed to buy time saying they were "frivolous."

"The funeral of the late former President cannot be treated as a personal event.

"It is a national and State funeral; not the accused's personal event," said the Maturure before dismissing Dangarembizi's application.

Dangarembizi still tried to escape trial on the day, telling the court that he had parted ways with his lawyer, Alec Muchadehama and was seeking to engage a different one.

His request was granted.

Dangarembizi landed in the dock after he allegedly stole US$580 000 from Denga, whose company, Goldstone, is a supplier of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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