FORMER Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management director-general Edson Chidziya has accused Prosecutor-General (PG) Ray Goba of allowing a civil matter to be heard at the criminal court.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Chidziya made the remarks yesterday when he appeared before magistrate Elijah Makomo charged with abuse of office and concealment of audit report, which revealed the missing 56 rhino horns to the board.
The former Zimparks boss, who is represented by Lovemore Madhuku, filed an application for discharge.
In his application, Chidziya said the PG should have declined to prosecute his matter on the basis that the facts were exclusively of a civil matter.
“This case ought to have proceeded to trial. The Prosecutor-General ought to have declined to prosecute on the simple basis that the facts were exclusively of a civil nature with no iota of possible criminal liability,” Chidziya said.
The accused said the essential elements of the main offence are: carrying out a transaction in connection with the principal’s affair, failing to disclose to the principal the full nature of the transaction and an intention to deceive the principal.
“The State had closed its case without any evidence challenging the accused person’s defence. On the contrary State’s evidence supported the accused’s defence. The evidence adduced on behalf of the State is so manifestly unreliable that no reasonable court could safely act on it,” he said.
Magistrate Makomo is set to rule on the application today.
Allegations are that between September 2012 and May 1, 2013, Chidziya was appointed the director-general and became the accounting officer, with the sole responsibility of reporting to the board.
He was also responsible for the smooth running of Zimparks. It is the State’s case that during his tenure, Chidziya caused the breach of security procedures of game products under his care.
The State alleges that between December 2012 and July 2015, Chidziya gave orders to Mazoyo, Kuwora and Nhira to exchange keys to the ivory strong room.
It is alleged that this was done without a proper handover and takeover procedure, by-passing the standard laid out security procedure and his action allegedly led to 56 rhino horns being stolen.
The theft was allegedly discovered during an audit carried out in July 2015 and it is alleged Chidziya, as the accounting officer, was handed the audit report but did not report the matter to the police.
Rudo Chasi appeared for the State.