Muponda appeared at Harare Magistrate Court before Magistrate Donald Ndirowei where he wanted to have a warrant of arrest against him cancelled.
However Magistrate Ndirowei denied the request and confirmed the warrant of arrest which was issued on March 13, 2004. Muponda had allegedly handed himself over to the investigating officer upon his return to the country from Cananda following his de-specification in May this year.
Muponda’s lawyer Benjamin Chikowero of Gutu and Chikowero legal practitioners tried to convince the court that when his client fled the country he had received death threats from investors and was not a fugitive from justice.
Chikowero told the court that just before his trip back, Muponda had also offered himself to officials at the Zaimbabwean Embassy in Canada.
“Upon his (Muponda) return to the country he surrendered himself to the police officer who was handling the case in which he was being charged as one of the directors of ENG. We are going to make an application for his freedom at the High Court,” said Chikowero after the ruling.
Muponda was de-specified in May this year following a government announcement that was published by Co-Home Affairs Ministers Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone in a recent government gazette.
“It is hereby notified that the joint Ministers of Home Affairs, in terms of section 6 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 9:16) have revoked the specification of Gilbert Muponda,” read the de-specification notice.
Muponda and co-director Nyasha Watyoka were arrested in 2003 after ENG Capital failed to pay creditors. The firm was placed under voluntary liquidation in 2003 while Muponda – who left the country for Canada – was specified in 2004.
Watyoka has since been set free by the magistrates’ court for lack of evidence. Meanwhile, ENG’s liquidators have confirmed that the company has since cleared all debts and paid its creditors.
Directors are understood to be now seeking the re-instatement of the company’s banking licence ahead of a planned listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.