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Lawyers protest arrest of Marondera businessman

The lawyers made the claims on Tuesday after their client was arrested on Monday at the Harare Magistrate Court on contempt of court charges. 

LAWYERS representing a Marondera businessman, Francesco Marconati, have accused the State of being behind a plot to have their client locked up on trumped up charges of skipping community service.

The lawyers made the claims on Tuesday after their client was arrested on Monday at the Harare Magistrate Court on contempt of court charges. 

He was accused of not performing community service. 

Marconati, who was remanded in custody at Avondale Police Station, appeared before magistrate Simon Kandiyero on Tuesday. 

His lawyer, Advocate Tafadzwa Lancelot Mapuranga took issues with the State for allegedly causing the arrest of his client. 

He claimed that a community service director, one L. Majonga who is based at Compensation House, Harare, requested documents showing Marconati performing community service at Inyati Police Station. 

According to Mapuranga, Majonga allegedly later forwarded some documents to the prosecutor Anesu Chirenje stating that the businessman was not performing the community service. 

Marconati is denying the offence saying he was left with only 14 hours of his 105 hours of the said community service. 

The businessman said he only absconded from community service at Inyati Police Station in Matabeleland when he attended another court session in Harare. 

The court was adjourned to today after Kandiyero requested further documents which had been allegedly removed. 

The businessman, who is also a whistle-blower in an externalization case involving his former business partner Li Song, filed a High Court application seeking protection from the authorities saying he was being victimized.

He claimed that his life was in danger. 

Song is expected to appear in court on June 24 for trial where the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is the complainant. 

She is accused of externalizing millions of United States dollars after allegedly misrepresenting that the money was for importing raw materials for the leather and shoes business in Marondera. 

Marconati, who owned several companies that includes Eagle Italian Shoes and Leather Strengthened Investments Private Limited among others had approached the High Court seeking a declaratory relief after he was arrested for more than five times on alleged trumped up charges just after he accused his former business partner of externalising funds. 

He submitted that his rights were being violated after exposing the criminal syndicate. 

He said his application is based on article 33 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, which specifically deals with the protection of whistleblowers. 

Marconati said he qualified to be protected.


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