By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE trial of MDC MP for Njube–Lobengula, Gift Banda, who is facing charges of duping a Bulawayo man of US$60 000, will kick off March 3 at the Tredgold Magistrates’ Courts.
Banda is jointly accused with Mbonisi Nkomazana of forging signatures of a Bulawayo man resulting in him losing a residential stand worth US$60 000.
According to State papers, Banda and his co-accused allegedly forged Nkululeko Ndlovu’s signature purporting that he had agreed to sell his residential stand in Selbourne Brooke, Bulawayo.
Ndlovu bought the stand in February 2015 from Sipho Mhlanga, a land developer and the previous owner of the housing stand.
Mhlanga and Ndlovu signed a memorandum of agreement of sale and in 2017, Banda approached Ndlovu and offered to buy the stand from him. The MP promised to purchase him a bigger housing stand in Paddonhurst also in Bulawayo.
“Banda and Ndlovu settled their agreement verbally. Banda failed to keep his end of the bargain of securing another stand in Paddonhurst and instead offered to pay Ndlovu cash for his Selbourne Brooke stand. He again failed to settle the cash payment,” reads part of the State papers.
On July 21 2017, Ndlovu sent Banda a message informing him that he was no longer interested in the deal.
Despite Ndlovu’s cancellation of the deal, Banda allegedly went on to deposit US$2 000 into the complainant‘s Steward Bank Account and proceeded to start construction.
The matter was reported to the police leading to the accused’s arrest.
The trial was supposed to start last week, but Banda’s legal team requested for postponement claiming that they were not served with the alleged forged signatures.
Meanwhile, the case of MDC Alliance Bulawayo’s Ward 24 councillor, Arnold Dube, 33, who is facing charges of contravening the Electoral Act, failed to kick off Monday after the presiding magistrate was said to be off duty.
The case has been postponed several times since 2018. Dube is facing charges of distributing campaign leaflets in the vicinity of a polling station in 2018.
“In that on the 31st of July 2018 and at or near Salvation Army church polling station Nkulumane, Arnold Dube being a MDC Alliance local government candidate in respect of Ward 24 for the 2018 harmonised elections unlawfully distributed on a polling station day, leaflets on his behalf within three hundred metres of the Salvation Army polling station,” reads part of the State papers.