Court allows Mangoma to travel for GPA meetings

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High Court judge Justice Andrew Mutema has ordered the relaxation of bail conditions for Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma, to enable him to travel outside the country to attend crucial meetings to do with the country’s political future.

Mangoma earlier last week applied for alteration of his bail conditions to allow him to travel outside the country as one of the negotiators to the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

In his ruling, Justice Mutema said: “It is ordered by consent that the applicant (Mangoma) is admitted to bail variation on the following conditions: The clerk of court, Rotten Row Magistrates Court, Harare, return to the applicant his Zimbabwean passport. The applicant be and is hereby authorised to travel to the Republic of South Africa,” reads the order.

Mutema said Mangoma should, however, redeposit his passport on May 10 (after the business trips) and also start reporting to police on May 11.

Mangoma is facing two charges of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer where he allegedly abused his office by giving superior orders and prevailing upon his subordinates to purchase fuel without going to tender.

The second charge is of allegedly cancelling the announcement of the winner of a Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority tender.

Mangoma wanted his bail conditions relaxed by the release of his passport and dropping of reporting conditions to enable him to travel as and when he is required on official business.

According to the High Court application, Mangoma, as a key member of the MDC-T negotiating team, is scheduled to attend meetings outside the country this week.

“The applicant is also a key member of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) negotiating team established in terms of the Sadc-brokered Global Political Agreement and as such he has to attend all meetings of the negotiating teams as and when Sadc calls for such meetings.

“Following the recent Livingstone, Zambia, Sadc Troika, a meeting of the negotiating teams has been called by the Sadc-appointed facilitator, President Jacob Zuma of the Republic of South Africa, to commence on the 4th of May 2011 to be held in the Republic of South Africa and which is expected to last about three days.”

The court also heard Mangoma needed to attend a Sadc Troika follow-up meeting on May 20 in Namibia.