CIO Implicated in the RG Mugabe Airport gold smuggling saga seeks bail

CIO Implicated in the RG Mugabe Airport gold smuggling saga seeks bail. Chamakandiona Nyahunda made a fresh bail application when appearing before Harare magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje saying the State was failing to make progress in investigating his charges.

The Central Intelligence Officer (CIO) accused of carrying gold worth US$783 000 round security checks at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to pass to a smuggler Tashinga Masinire in the departure lounge has launched a fresh bail bid.

He added that the present enhanced lockdowns in South Africa and Zimbabwe would delay the investigations further.

Nyahunda, who is charged with smuggling and criminal abuse of duty, has been in remand prison for the past two months with the State failing to complete its investigations.

He argued that the lapse of time was a changed circumstance that warrants his release on bail pending trial. Nyahunda said:

The fact that the State did not indicate when the investigations would be complete shows how unprepared the State is with this matter meaning the applicant will languish in remand prison for months to come.

There was no approval from the South African government for the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to carry investigations across the border.

Nyahunda was denied bail by Mr Mambanje after he noted that the State had a strong case against him arising from the fact that he was spotted on CCTV carrying a bag believed to have been containing the 13kg of gold.

He was also spotted avoiding security checkpoints and ending up in the smoking room where he allegedly handed the bag to Tashinga Nyasha Masinire who was caught with the gold on arrival in South Africa.

Masinire was later arrested at OR Tambo International Airport for illegally possessing gold. The State represented by Mr Marlvin Mapako is expected to file his response on Monday. Zimbabwe is reportedly losing billions of dollars in potential revenue through smuggling through porous borders.

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