THE Attorney General’s office has withdrawn before plea charges against former employees of Orchid Real Estate (Pvt) Ltd – Gerald Mlotshwa and Morgan Moyo – key witnesses in the trial of First Na
tional Building Society (FNBS) founding directors.
Mlotshwa and Moyo were indicted on June 29 to face trial for defrauding Orchid of more than $5 million on November 1.
The duo are set to testify in the fraud case involving FNBS founding directors Samson Ruturi and Nicholas Musona set to be heard in the High Court on November 8.
Ruturi and Musona, with a combined shareholding of 89,74% in the holding company, First National Holding Ltd (FNHL), are alleged to have defrauded the society of over $1 billion.
Businessdigest saw a letter from the AG’s office informing the officer commanding CID Fraud Squad of the latest developments. The letter is copied to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the area public prosecutor.
“Please be advised that the above two persons (Mlotshwa and Moyo) are witnesses in the matter of State vs Samson Ruturi and Nicholas Border Musona who are to stand trial concerning charges of corruption and theft which took place at First National Building Society, commencing on November 8 in the High Court, Harare,” said chief law officer Joseph Jagada.
“For easy management of the above cases which involve billions of dollars in the form of prejudice of $5 million in the case of Gerald Mlotshwa and Morgan Moyo, it is our view that under the circumstances it would be prudent to withdraw charges before plea against Mlotshwa and Moyo and reconsider their cases after the finalisation of the trial of Ruturi and Musona in the High Court”.
Jagada said it “would be ill advised to pursue both cases at the same time given that the public has more interest in the Ruturi and Musona case as these concern depositors’ funds and of much significance”.
“Leaving the matters as they are right now is not helpful, as Mlotshwa and Moyo could turn hostile in the High Court cases to the state’s disadvantage. Through this letter, we have authorised the area public prosecutor Harare Magistrates Court, Mr Shumba to arrange for the withdrawal of charges against Mlotshwa and Moyo before plea pending the finalisation of the Ruturi and Musona cases,” Jagada said.
In a statement this week, Ruturi and Musona said they received with shock the decision by the AG’s office.
“The decision is shocking. Moyo and Mlotshwa stole from a company owned by the major shareholders and their case has been withdrawn to testify against the same shareholders they stole from,” they said in a statement.