Gweru land developer charges dropped

By Stephen Chadenga

Prominent Gweru land developer Smelly Dube fraud charges have been
dropped due to lack of evidence, her lawyers have said.
Dube who is also River Valley Properties chief executive was facing allegations of illegal acquisition and sale of State land.

In a statement Nyamundanda and Mutimudye legal practitioners said: “It
with great pleasure to notify the members of the public that our
client Smelly Dube who was arrested and charged with three counts of
fraud and alternatively charged with conspiracy to criminal abuse of
duty has been exonerated after all charges were dropped.”

“The withdrawal of the charges is premised on the fact that the
National Prosecuting Authority declined to prosecute on the ground
that there was absolutely no evidence that linked our client Smelly
Dube to the commission of the offences after over a year from the date
of her arrest.”

Dube was accused of conniving with former Midlands Governor Jason
Machaya, who was jailed over land deals two years ago to be allocated
stands where beneficiaries were allegedly prejudiced of over US$9
million.

But last year Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo
suspended trial at the Gweru Magistrates Court after Dube filed an
urgent chamber application for review of the proceedings.

She had opposed her arrest and placement on remand arguing that facts
relied upon by the State did constitute a reasonable suspicion that
the offences were committed.