Nearly eleven years after he was slapped with stock-theft charges, Nata/Gweta Member of Parliament Polson Majaga, insists there has been an unreasonable delay in his prosecution and wants the charges dropped.
According to court papers, the former Dukwi ward councillor and his co-accused were allegedly found in possession of cattle carcasses and hides, suspected to have been stolen in August 2006 – and the matter has been dragging on ever since.
Majaga is jointly charged with the brothers Shadreck Mochabange and Tshokolo Mochabange alongside Semphete Malindi and Goletswang Mpule.
While acting in one accord at Komotsia cattlepost near Dukwi village, the five accused were allegedly found in possession of cattle carcasses suspected to be proceeds of a series of criminal activities.
In his application for permanent stay of prosecution before Francistown Magistrate, Kose Makobo, Majaga pleaded for the charges against him and his co-accused to be dropped, arguing that the matter has unnecessarily dragged for far too long.
Chronicling the events that date back to 2006, Majaga told of how they were arrested and arraigned at the Francistown magistrates’ court.
He said on several occasions the matter has been withdrawn and reinstituted before the courts without any noticeable progress.
“Following our arraignment in 2006, the matter stayed in limbo until 2009 when it resurfaced in the Francistown magistrates’ court. However, even after its resurfacing in 2009, no progress has happened until today – hence this application,” argued Majaga.
The BDP legislator charged that the delays by the prosecution in the matter have been sporadic.
In his affidavit, Majaga lamented that the accused continue to age with their memories fading, as no human mind is infallible.
“Time will never be our best ally in remembering the past,” Majaga explained in his affidavit, which he filed on his own behalf and on behalf of the other applicants.
He added, “I had herd boys who knew my animals better. But I have since lost contacts with them. Regrettably some have since passed on and cannot be recalled to come from heaven and give evidence on earth.
“One of my trusted herd boys died in 2008. His knowledge over my animals was unprecedented and could not be equalled to anyone’s. If the trial had not been withdrawn in 2007, he would have been the pillar of my defence,” said Majaga.