A 44-year-old Zimbabwean man, Abraham Nyakuhana who, together with three Batswana counterparts was found in possession of nine cattle carcasses has been granted bail by the Maun Chief Magistrate, Thebeetsile Mulalu.
Nyakuhana and his co-accused persons, Gabriel Wellio who is a prominent local businessman, Keitshokile Montsho, Abraham Nyakunana, and Kadimo Ovuya were reportedly nabbed on the 21st October in Gxhabara ward in possession of nine carcasses suspected to be stolen cattle or unlawfully obtained. Police are reported to be still looking for the fifth accused person who remains at large.
Following the quartet’s arrest, the Zimbabwean national was remanded in custody while the other three locals were granted bail. Nyakuhana is also facing a single count of entering Botswana through an ungazetted point of entry early in 2021.
All three accused persons Wellio, Montsho and Ovuya were released on bail on condition that they each bind themselves with P2500 and each provide two Batswana sureties.
Prosecution had previously pleaded for Nyakuhana to be remanded in custody as he is an illegal immigrant, which makes him a flight risk and may skip the country to avoid standing bail. Prosecution also argued that the accused person does not have a permanent residential address in Botswana.
During bail arguments, the accused person’s attorney Charles Tlagae argued that he should be granted bail because he is eligible to his right to liberty like any accused person could.
Tlagae opposed reasons advanced by the prosecution when calling for the accused person to be denied bail. He said the prosecution’s assertion that he was a flight risk was far-fetched since they know where he comes from, arguing that the information is provided in the accused person’s passport which prosecution is in possession of.
“The travel document shows where the accused person was born in Zimbabwe, that should be the first to go to place if the accused person skips trial.,” Tlagae said.
Furthermore, Tlagae said the accused person is a gardener at Wellio’s place which automatically becomes his permanent address in Botswana.
For his part the accused person further told court that he has a paternal uncle who stays in Botswana legally, and whom he can be his surety. He further assured that he will attend all court proceedings as ordered by the court
Mulalu subsequently granted the accused person bail on conditions same to those of the three other accused persons and for him to provide two Batswana sureties. He will appear for status update on 13th December 2022.