Smelly Saturday remand date raises eyebrows

Elizabeth Mashiri
Midlands Bureau
Gweru – Land developer and River Valley Properties Chief Executive Officer Smelly Dube who is charged with a US$9 million fraud raised eyebrows when her routine remand hearing was held on a Saturday.
Legal experts who spoke to The Mirror said routine remand hearings are not held on Saturday.
When The Mirror enquired last week about the remand date for Dube, the reporter was given two different dates with some court officials saying she would appear on Friday May 14 while others said it would be on Saturday May 15 2021.
Dube who was arrested for illegally selling State land to the tune of US$9 million eventually appeared on Saturday.
Court officials at the Gweru Magistrate Courts said it was quite odd that an active case on court roll would be remanded on a weekend as weekends are reserved for new and urgent matters.
Prominent Gweru lawyer Brian Dube said remands are not supposed to be set on Saturdays.
“Saturday is a working day but normally courts handle new and urgent cases only. It’s odd to have a matter remanded on a Saturday,” said Dube.
Another prominent Harare Lawyer Tongai Mutsindo said courts do sit on a Saturday as it is a normal working day.
“I have once had a trial on a Saturday, it’s a normal working day so l wouldn’t want to say it’s not normal for a remand to be set on Saturday,” he said
A magistrate who requested anonymity said according to court procedures remands are not held on a Saturday.
“Courts sit on Saturdays, it’s a working day but according to court procedures remands are set during the week.
A case which is already in the court roll cannot be remanded on a Saturday. We do not do that unless it’s a genuine mistake,” said the magistrate
The Mirror could not establish why this happened but court officials at Gweru expressed surprise.
An upbeat Dube who looked well after her four-week stay in hospital arrived at the court in the morning and had a jovial chat with Mirror Assistant Editor Elizabeth Mashiri. She even offered to pose for pictures for Mashiri to take.
Magistrate Edwin Marecha remanded Dube to June 15, 2021 when she will come before the Anti-Corruption Court.

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