ZACC launched ‘manhunt’ for Mpofu and Chimombe as bail hearing begins


HARARE — Bail application proceedings began Thursday for Moses Mpofu and Mike Chimombe, who face fraud charges over a $7 million goats scheme, with Harare Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa presiding. 

Prosecutor Anesu Chirenje announced the State's intention to present testimony from two Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) investigators, Henry Chapwanya and Gamuchirai Sibongile Zimunhu. 

However, only Zimunhu testified, as Chapwanya was occupied with another corruption case at the High Court.

Defence lawyers withdrew their application to determine whether Mpofu and Chimombe were brought from home or ZACC custody, allowing proceedings to focus on Zimunhu's testimony.

Zimunhu argued against bail, citing potential witness interference and risk of flight. 

She detailed the extensive efforts ZACC undertook to locate and apprehend the accused.

"On Tuesday the 25th of June we spent the better part of the day manhunting them. We actually went to their places of residence," Zimunhu said. 

ZACC teams searched multiple locations, including 6 Otillia Close in Avondale and 5 Cambridge Road in Greendale, only to find Mpofu absent. The search extended to Mpofu's business site on Morton Jaffray Road, Borrowdale, and Old Windsor in Ruwa, according to her testimony.

Zimunhu recounted how Mpofu and Chimombe arrived at ZACC offices Wednesday morning, ostensibly for an interview, only to be arrested and brought before court. 

"Having had to call them and manhunt them, I'm not sure they would want to come again to court. It is best they are remanded in custody such that we don't have to manhunt for them again," she testified, expressing doubts about the reliability of their addresses.

Zimunhu also opposed bail on grounds that it would hinder justice, highlighting the public interest in the case and the potential for public disorder. 

She emphasized that releasing the accused could lead to violence and erode trust in the justice system.

The two have been remanded in custody for a second day as bail hearings are set to continue tomorrow.

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