JUST IN: Bonongwe in serious trouble, denied bail


High Court judge, Justice Munamato Mutevedzi threw out a bail application by Bindura lawyer, Ellaton Bonongwe citing that it is unheard of for a practicing lawyer to commit such an alleged heinous crime.

Bonongwe is accused of masterminding a robbery at the house of Engineer Emson Chitsungo of Pfura Rural District Council in Mt Darwin.

He is jointly charged with his uncle Musa Gandi whom he once represented in a robbery case at the Bindura Magistrate Court.

The other accused are Agnes Kunaka, Raby Ngwenya and Tafadzwa Obrey Chipashu.

In his bail application, Bonongwe, who is represented by Mr Nemaise said he is the sole partner at his law firm and has heavy family responsibilities.

He has eight children with his two wives and does not have a valid passport or relatives outside the country.

Bonongwe denied the charges saying he was not at the crime scene or connected to the crime.

He said prior to his arrest there was acrimony between him and Eng Chitsungo after he reported him to the police for fraudulent sale of a stand in Mt Darwin.

He said, Eng Chitsungo then enlisted anonymous callers threatening Bonongwe with unspecified action.

“The dispute become public knowledge in Mt Darwin and at one point, both parties were called for a meeting at the police station. Bonongwe turned down the invitation,” read the papers.

“Eng Chitsungo’s brother invited Bonongwe to a meeting alleging that he (Bonongwe) was trying to cause the arrest of Eng Chitsungo and he wanted know what was happening.

“Bonongwe believed Eng Chitsungo was out to fix him and is behind fabrication of the charges and his arrest.”

Bonongwe denied communicating with any of his co-accused before, during and after the offence.

He challenged any message linking him to the offence as dubious.

Meanwhile, prosecution said a day after the robbery, Bonongwe was nowhere to be found and was arrested the following day with a passport in his pocket.

In his ruling, Justice Mutevedzi said if there was nothing linking him to the crime scene, Bonongwe ought to have challenged his placement on remand at the Bindura Magistrate Court.

“His placement on remand in itself is admission that there is reasonable suspicion that he committed the offence. A challenge on the allegation/facts at the remand stage is important even if it does not succeed,” said Justice Mutevedzi.

“Silence means accused agreed with facts as alleged by prosecution. It becomes impermissible for the accused to start challenging facts in bail proceedings.”

He ruled that Bonongwe is a flight risk.

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