FORMER Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) captain and chaplain at Mbalabala Barracks, who was wrongly jailed for six years for theft of a vehicle belonging to businessman Osfael Mazibuko says his business crumbled when he was rotting in jail.
Solomon Ndlovu (52) was in January 2018 convicted of theft of a motor vehicle by Beitbridge regional magistrate Mark Dzira after a full trial.
He was sentenced to six years in jail, with two months suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour. A further five months were suspended on condition he restituted Mazibuko US$2 500, leaving him with an effective 65 months to serve.
Ndlovu, through his lawyer Abel Ndlovu of Dube and Associates, filed an appeal at the Bulawayo High Court citing the State as respondent.
The lawyers submitted that Dzira erred and misdirected himself by attaching a criminal liability to the former army captain arguing that the agreement was a civil matter. The State did not oppose the application that both the conviction and sentence were improper.
Two High Court judges, Justices Maxwell Takuva and Thompson Mabhikwa, on September 16, 2019, set aside both conviction and sentence, and acquitted Ndlovu after serving one year and eight months at Khami Maximum Security Prison in Bulawayo.
Last week, Ndlovu said his prison tenure was a nightmare which resulted in multiple losses.
“If it was not for this false criminal case, I could have gone very far with life. But this case grounded and destroyed all my plans. Everyone thought I was out and done with, including my wife who even refused to take me back when I was released thinking that this matter will come back again.
“People looted my farm — Mjinge Conservancy in Mwenezi, Masvingo which Mazibuko had also snatched and I repossessed it through the courts. My farm house was vandalised and I lost cattle,” Ndlovu said.
He said despite the High Court application which was granted on farm possession, Mazibuko appealed to the Supreme Court, a development stalling his farming projects.