HARARE – A High Court judge postponed to Monday afternoon his ruling on a bail application by businessman Genius Kadungure.
Kadungure was charged with fraud, money laundering and tax evasion on Friday, before being denied bail by a Harare magistrate.
Prosecutors had consented to bail of $1,000, but magistrate Bianca Makwande said Kadungure’s release was not in the interests of justice.
Kadungure has no title deeds, the court heard. The magistrate weighed that, together with his business interests in South Africa and the fact that he is awaiting judgment in an unrelated case of fraud before deciding against bail.
“The release of the accused will undermine public confidence in the criminal justice system,” she ruled, hinting strongly that Kadungure was a flight risk.
Kadungure’s lawyer Jonathan Samukange went to the High Court on an urgent basis on Saturday.
Samukange, who was ready to step in with his title deeds on Friday in support of Kadungure’s bail bid, argued at the High Court that the magistrate had erred in not granting bail.
Kadungure was able to provide surety; had no intention to skip bail and the magistrate had crucially not provided compelling reasons why bail – which is a right under current law – had been denied.
Prosecutors say between February 2009 and May 2016, Kadungure’s company Piko Trading (Private) Limited misrepresented to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority that it made total sales of $2,777,678 inclusive of value added tax, when in actual fact the company had made sales amounting to $9,092,951.
Zimra suffered a prejudice of $417 940.
He is also being accused of evading tax, with Zimra suffering a total prejudice of $3,468,949.