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Mutsvangwa’s son spend yet another weekend in detention



ZANU PF spokesperson Chris Mutsvangwa and Women’s Affairs minister Monica Mutsvangwa’s son, Neville, spent yet another weekend in jail for illegal foreign currency deals.


The move shows the intensity of political rivalry and raw animosity between Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga and the Mutsvangwas.

Chris Mutsvangwa last week indirectly attacked Chiwenga over the Neville case. Neville’s arrest for illegal currency dealings has political undertones, reflecting the ongoing power struggle within Zanu PF between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Chiwenga.

The Mutsvangwas are longtime Mnangagwa political allies, but have now been cornered by Chiwenga and his Zanu PF military faction in a show of power.

Defence lawyer Josephine Sande said the state has failed to prove a prima facie case against the 44-year-old Harare businessman and his co-accused.

Sande said the magistrate’s court erred by denying Neville and his co-accused Elias Majachani and Simbarashe Tichingana bail as there was no evidence.

The trio is facing charges of dealing in foreign currency, stashing cash and money laundering.
Neville’s lawyer said the state was basing its evidence on Visa cards which were seized from his Mount Pleasant home in Harare.

In her submissions before High Court Justice Esther Maremba, Sande argued that possession of Visa cards is not illegal and not evidence that someone is involved in illegal foreign currency deals through cash or money laundering.

“I submit that mere possession of bank cards is not proof enough that someone is dealing in cash. It is not even illegal,” Sande said.

She said there was no way the state would charge Neville and his co-accused with money laundering charges without the involvement of the central bank or its Financial Intelligence Unit which would have raised suspicions on the transactions using the Visa cards.

Neville is facing a further charge of illegally using Starlink, a satellite internet service operated by Starlink Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of American aerospace company SpaceX.

Zimbabwe has not yet licensed Starlink — which will be a big game changer — as the authorities drag their feet on technology and progress because they want control and rent-seeking opportunities.

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