Herald assistant news editor Takunda Maodza, who is accused of attempted extortion, was yesterday removed from remand by Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti.
The State had been warned that failure to start the trial would result in Maodza being freed from bail.
Muchuchuti said prosecutor Anesu Matorofa had to proceed by way of summons since State witnesses were not available.
Matorofa had applied to remand the matter to next month citing that the complainant, Isaac Levy, will be available only at that time as he is out of the country.
Muchuchuti dismissed the application and removed Maodza from remand.
Maodza is accused of extorting money from Levy, the director of Sam Levy Village, in return for not publishing a news article labelling him as a supporter and treasurer of the People First Project allegedly led by Joyce Mujuru
He is represented by Phelex Charamba of Charamba and Partners.
Levy denies that he was seeking any post. The State alleges that Maodza was offered $700, but refused to be handed the money in Levy’s office and suggested he be given the money outside the office.
The State alleged that the conversation was recorded by a closed-circuit television (CCTV) in Levy’s office.
Maodza was arrested after detectives intercepted him before he was given the money.