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Prophet Walter Magaya ’fraudsters’ trial takes twist

THE trial of Harare businessman, Upenyu Mashangwa, who is being charged alongside his three co-accused for allegedly defrauding Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries of $116 000, yesterday took a new twist after one of the suspects, Cosmas Mushaninga, made a U-turn, deciding not to further challenge the admission of his warned-and-cautioned statement by the court.

The matter will now proceed on October 13.
Prophet Walter Magaya ’fraudsters’ trial takes twist
Three weeks ago regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa ruled against Mushaninga and accepted that his warned-and-cautioned statement was “recorded freely and voluntarily” despite his assertion that he gave it under duress.

In the matter Mashangwa is jointly charged with Mushaninga, Kudakwashe Larry Mapfumo and Clifford Tinashe Gonde over an alleged botched import deal for a Land Rover Discovery 4 from South Africa.
“We have now decided to proceed with the trial after having gone through the reasons given by the court. Nonetheless, I agree with the court that accused can seek remedy at the end of the trial which option remains open to him,” Mushaninga’s lawyer Dumisani Mthombeni said.

The magistrate then remanded the matter to October 13 for continuation, but reminded the court officials that the hearing should be completed before his vacation set for November.

“We will proceed with the trial on October 13 and organise other dates that we can set aside for the hearing of this matter and have it completed before my vacation set for November,” Mupeiwa said.

The investigating officer is set to complete giving his testimony and possibly PHD Ministries founder Walter Magaya’s wife, Tendai, will testify, as the last witness.

Liberty Gono is appearing for the State.
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