PROMINENT businessman and corporate executive Shongwe Michael Ndoro has taken senior public prosecutor Michael Reza head-on demanding his recusal over allegations of conflict of interest.
Ndoro, who is the current Seed Co Limited chairperson and managing director of several companies, including Sarai-Dale Trust Interfruit (Pvt) Limited, in April 2019 filed criminal charges against his former wife, Star Precious Ndoro.
The ex-wife is currently facing 632 counts of theft of trust property and another US$2,3 million charge for money laundering. But Ndoro is accusing Reza of delaying the prosecution of the case without giving concrete reasons.
In a letter dated January 4, 2023, addressed to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Ndoro said the delays at the courts were puzzling and he had lost confidence in the prosecutor’s office at Rotten Row Magistrates Court.
Ndoro alleges that Reza is an interested party and has been dragging his feet by applying technicalities in a matter where his former wife is facing a litany of charges.
“I have lost confidence in the prosecutor’s office at Rotten Row Magistrate Courts as they appear to be partisan in their conduct. I believe Reza’s office is no longer independent,” Ndoro alleges.
“I kindly request for a transfer of this matter to any other independent and impartial prosecutor at a similar level, who can deliberate on the matter without fear or favour or any further delays.
“I find it inappropriate that Reza would take a lackadaisical approach. This matter has been sitting on his desk for at least three weeks and there has been no action on his part.
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“Now he is indicating that he needs a further week before any appropriate action is taken, whilst the investigating officers have completed their investigations,” Ndoro claims.
He also alleges in the letter that he reported the matter in April 2019 and Reza requested that a Forensic External Audit be carried out.
According to Ndoro, this exercise was completed in November 2022 and on December 15, 2022, Reza received a docket with all the required documents.
On January 4, Ndoro alleges that Reza was still in possession of the docket despite having promised earlier that he would assign his officials to handle the case.
He further claims that he has not seen the prosecutor assigned to the case, whom Reza keeps saying is busy.
“This concerns us as it appears that the assigned prosecutor is the only individual in the whole prosecutor’s office, who can work on this particular case,” Ndoro said.
Contacted for comment, acting Prosecutor-General Nelson Mutsonziwa said he was yet to receive the letter.
“I have not received the letter, nor am I aware of the case at the moment,” he said.
But the Zimbabwe Independent is in possession of a letter stamped by the NPA.