Wadyajena A Free ManWadyajena A Free Man [cred; Shepherd Tozvireva-AMH]

Wadyajena A Free Man!!!

Flamboyant Gokwe Nembudziya Legislator and ZANU PF Gokwe North DCC Chairman Justice Mayor Wadyajena was today acquitted on US$5.8 million fraud charges by the Harare Magistrates’ Court.

Wadyajena was being charged together with the four co-accused persons who include Pious Manamike, Maxmore Njanji, Fortunate Molai and Chiedza Danha.

In granting the application, Harare Magistrate Taurai Manuwere said so far, the state has no case against the accused as they arrested to investigate.

“The state has failed to establish prima facie against the accused. I therefore acquit them on that ground,” said Manuwere.

What was initially lauded as a corruption scandal of huge proportions turned out to be nothing but poorly scripted comedy.

The case was further diluted by the fact that Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has failed to produce sufficient evidence

ZACC confessed that to date they had been unable to produce sufficient evidence to compile a docket and that they presently had no complainant or witnesses alleging a crime was ever committed. Which begs the question that if COTTCO had never reported nor claimed any fraud, what formed the basis of the allegations to begin with?

When further pressed by the magistrate, ZACC conceded they had simply acted on smoke and anonymous tip-offs but were now struggling to find any concrete evidence of crime or the fire where the smoke was bellowing from. ZACC was reduced to silence in court when challenged about why they had proceeded to make any arrests when they had not conducted investigations or gathered any meaningful evidence.

When Wadyajena and company were arrested, ZACC had initially bragged that they had investigated and discovered evidence so overwhelming that it warranted them attaching the assets of the legislator including 27 fuel trucks, a Lamborghini Urus which had been paid for a year prior to any transaction with COTTCO and a BMW X6M which Wadyajena purchased in 2012 but shockingly attached as part of proceeds of a 2019 allegedly crime. ZACC however was never able to show the court any evidence of a fraud or money laundering over the course of six months, giving credence to defence lawyers’ claims that this was nothing but a laughably executed political witch hunt. Legal experts agree that the initial documents placed before the courts would never have met the normal threshold for arrest or prosecution if ZACC did not have extraordinary powers that allow it to circumvent and intimidate normal legal procedure.

According to various sources and online reports, the arrest of Wadyajena emanated from a factional political battle, allegedly spearheaded by his rivals where the now disgraced former ZACC Commissioner John Makamure was used as a pawn.

Wadyajena was targeted because of his closeness to the President, with the four innocent co-accused being reduced to collateral damage.

Makamure who was working with other rogue elements within ZACC to compromise the President’s bid for a second term by painting the Party as riddled by corrupt elements, is well known to be aligned with the now crippled and insignificant anti Mnangagwa faction and who runs an American funded NGO targeting perceived abuse of funds by Government. Makamure was also discovered to be running a campaign to challenge Wadyajena for his seat in Nembudziya which presented a clear and brazen conflict of interest.

As if to prove the claims that he was a political target, shortly after Wadyajena arrest, some members of Midlands PCC quickly moved to have him expelled from ZANU-PF and it’s reported that the President was made aware of the machinations and acted to protect him. It is further reported that a few days later, Parliament tried to remove him from his role as Chairperson of the powerful Agriculture Committee, but curiously the President sent him to UK and Germany the following week on parliament business in a strong show of support. Despite calls for him to step down, Wadyajena remained adamant that he was a political target and refused to comply with his conspirators wishes, some say he did so with full knowledge his innocence was both believed and therefore protected by the highest powers of the land.

Instead of Wadyajena going to jail as he had envisaged, Makamure himself is now the one facing criminal charges according to his charge sheet after the President announced a tribunal to investigate Makamure.

All indications are that with the level of seriousness of the charges, the former Commissioner may be a guest for a long time at Chikurubi.

By Mandisa