Ex-minister Kagonye wants charges quashed

FORMER Public Service minister Petronella Kagonye, who is facing fraud charges emanating from alleged illegal parcelling out of land at Solomio Farm, wants the charges quashed.

Through her lawyer Rungano Mahuni, Kagonye applied for an exception to the charges, arguing that they do not disclose an offence.

Allegations against her are that in February 2014, she approached complainant, Vaduku Housing Cooperative, through its secretary Zvanezuro Ngonidzashe and offered its members land at Solomio Farm at US$10 per square metre, yet the property belonged to a local bank.

She allegedly received US$20 000 from the cooperative chairperson Porte Rodgers and on June 12, 2014 she received a further US$14 000 through a bank transfer to her company Glorious Real Estates and another US$4 500 in June 2015.

Kagonye is also alleged to have employed the same modus operandi and swindled Shingiriro Housing cooperative of US$48 500.

However, Kagonye denied the allegations.

“At all material times, the State was aware and is aware that the then minister of Local Government granted
Glorious Real Estate a mandate and authority to deal in the land known as Solomio Farm in the matter it dealt with that land and with regards to any dealings with the housing cooperative,” Mahuni argued.

“The misrepresentation that is alleged relates to the ownership of Solomio Farm or entitlement by the accused persons to deal in or with the farm in the manner alleged. Merely offering land does not constitute a misrepresentation ….,” Mahuni further said.

The ex-minister demanded that the charges be quashed, saying they were aimed at embarrassing her.