Former minister Mandiwanzira gets long remand

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

THE trial of former ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira, who is accused of fraudulently appointing his personal assistant to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory of Zimbabwe (Potraz) board was yesterday moved to July 16 for trial pending High Court determination on the State’s application for rescission of the judgment.

Mandiwanzira, who appeared before magistrate Hosea Mujaya, was represented by Advocate Thembi Magwaliba.

The former ICT minister is being accused of appointing his personal assistant, Tawanda Chinembiri to the Potraz board. The State alleges that the appointment of Chinembiri was criminal abuse of office because the said assistant was not a government employee.

But Magwaliba dismissed the State assertions during his application for exception of the charges that Chinembiri was not a government employee.

Magwaliba argued that the State in its own outline admitted that Chinembiri was appointed as deputy director and PA to the minister in March of 2015 and his appointment to the Potraz board was in February 2016.

He also argued in court that under the circumstances, the State had no case against Mandiwanzira and proceeding with the matter was tantamount to malicious prosecution and an abuse of prosecutorial authority.

Mandiwanzira had also complained in court that he has not committed any crime, saying the charges against him were a result of political persecution.

He told trial magistrate Elijah Makomo that everything he was being accused of was absurd and he had done everything with the authority of his principals. Mandiwanzira said instead of
being arrested, he should have been congratulated for recovering US$30 million that had been fleeced from NetOne.

In April this year, High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi quashed Mandiwanzira’s charges of awarding Megawatt Company of South Africa a contract without following due process.

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