Former Tourism Walter Mzembi has a case to answer, a Harare magistrate has ruled.
Mzembi is facing $1,6 million theft of trust property charges. He will remain on remand pending trial after the court yesterday dismissed his application challenging placement on remand.

He is said to have connived with three others and seized vehicles which according to the State, should have been surrendered after the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) conference.

Through his lawyer Mr Job Sikhala, Mzembi argued that he had no case to answer. e instead implicated former Permanent Secretary in the ministry Dr Sylvester Maunganidze. Mzembi said in terms of the international law, items used at a conference belong to the organisers of that conference.

“In this case all the things used in hosting the UNWTO conference belong to them. If ever there was anything that was stolen, it does not belong to the Government of Zimbabwe. The Permanent Secretary in the ministry cannot be the complainant in this matter. The legitimate complainant if there was misconduct by the applicant, should be the UNWTO.

“Your worship the official who entered into an agreement between the ministry and this private contractors is the Perm Sec Dr Sylvester Maunganidze and is the only person who should come to this court and answer on issues concerning the agreement between the two parties not the applicant (Mzembi).”

In dismissing the application, magistrate Mrs Rumbidzai Mugwagwa said there was sufficient evidence linking Mzembi to the crime.

“Even though he was not a signatory to the bank account, he is liable due to the doctrine of common purpose,” he said.