Former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Godfrey Gandawa, who is facing criminal charges over the alleged abuse of the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef), has applied to have the charges dropped, arguing they were not properly presented by the State.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Gandawa and his co-accused persons, Shepard Honzeri and Zimdef principal director of finance, Nicholas Mapute, are facing 14 counts involving criminal abuse of office, corruption, concealing a transaction and fraud.
“It is submitted that the charges (and the State case) have to be re-configured to take account of this reality. This can only be done by separating the trials. It is noted that not all the five accused persons face all the charges preferred. Paragraph 1 supra sets out the various charges faced by various accused persons at various times,” Gandawa’s lawyer, Eric Matinenga said in the application.
Meanwhile, Mapute has also filed an exception application on the basis that he could not have been expected by the State to answer to charges of money-laundering and corruptly concealing from a principal a personal interest in a transaction.
“The exception is taken on the basis that the accused is not mentioned anywhere in these charges, the charges do not disclose an offence on the part of the accused (Mapute),” his lawyer, Moses Nkomo, said in the application.
The former Zimdef officials appeared before High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi yesterday, but the matter could not proceed after the defence requested for more time to respond to the State’s submissions following the filed applications.
The matter is now set to be heard on June 11 after both parties agreed they would be prepared to argue the case following which the judge will give a determination on the way forward. The State is represented by Clemence Chimbari, Farai Zachariah and Gayton Vhiriri, while Honzeri is represented by Thomas Nyakunika.
Gandawa’s ex-boss, Jonathan Moyo, is now under a warrant of apprehension issued by the Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Republic Police.