BY XOLISANI NCUBE
The case, in which a Masvingo miner is accusing the recently-appointed Prosecutor-General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi of criminal abuse of office, has been referred to Chief Justice, Luke Malaba for investigation.
In a letter to Edgar Mashindi of Tambanashe Investments, Judicial Services Commission (JSC) acting secretary, Walter Chikwanha, said Justice Malaba was now seized with the matter.
“We acknowledge receipt of your letter that we received at our offices on January 25 2019. Please, be advised that the letter has been placed before the Chief Justice, who is now seized with the issue. We will advise you in due course as and when we receive his comments,” Chikwanha wrote.
Hodzi is being accused of corruptly declining to prosecute former Mines secretary Francis Gudyanga, who was implicated in a criminal abuse of office matter.
Gudyanga had been taken to court for fraudulently facilitating the issuance of a mining registration certificate to an undeserving mining company, Two Flags (Pvt) Ltd, ahead of Tambanashe Investments.
But Hodzi allegedly caused Gudyanga’s case to collapse at the magistrates’ courts after his office reportedly acted in “a sloppy manner”, forcing the matter to die prematurely.
This forced Mashindi to take the matter to the JSC as well as open a criminal docket against the prosecutor-general at Harare Central Police Station, under case number IR012036.
According to papers filed both with the police and JSC, it is alleged that when the case was ready for trial at the magistrate courts, the State represented by Ropafadzo Botsh, asked for a postponement, saying the docket had been sent to the PG’s Office for perusal.
But the court ruled that the PG’s Office had failed to provide a trial date within a reasonable period although the suspects, Gudyanga and his co-accused, Masvingo provincial mines director, Sibongubuhle Mpindiwa and Mines ministry legal adviser, Jacqueline Munyonga, had only been placed on remand for two weeks.
Mashindi accused Hodzi of corruptly failing to prosecute the matter, resulting in him seeking the police and JSC’s assistance.
Attempts to get a comment from Hodzi were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.
Allegations against Gudyanga were that sometime in 2003, Reedbuck Investments, which had mining rights at Lenox Mine, entered into an agreement of sale with Tambanashe Investments.
The State then alleged that in 2006, instead of registering Tambanashe, Gudyanga and Mpindiwa facilitated the registration of Lomona Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd and authorised it to run the mine.
The State alleges that in 2015, Two Flags Trading, a company Gudyanga was said to have interests in, filed a lawsuit against former Mines minister Walter Chidakwa over mining rights.
But Gudyanga and Munyonga did not respond to the lawsuit, leading to a default judgment being granted in favour of Two Flags Trading, prejudicing Tambanashe Investments.