Former City of Harare bosses, Sekesai Makwavarara, Michael and Tendai Mahachi on Tuesday filed an application to have the matter in which they are facing charges of criminal abuse of office, referred to the Constitutional Court arguing that the State failed to prosecute them within a reasonable time after being recorded a warned and cautioned statement in 2007.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The trio are accused of awarding a tender for the construction of Airport Road to Augur Investment without following due processes.
Michael Mahachi’s lawyer Thabani Mpofu told deputy chief magistrate Elijah Makomo that the delay to prosecute the matter is a violation of his client’s constitutional right.
Mpofu said the State was violating section 174 of the Criminal Evidence and Procedures Act which directs the arrest of public officials when they make wrong decisions.
“My client was recorded a statement by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission officers in 2007 during the time they were housed at Livingstone House. The length of the delay is in excess of a decade, the prosecution gives no reason on the argument of this matter,” he said.
Mpofu said there are newspaper articles indicating that the late former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai supported and gave a nod to the contract and also met with former President Robert Mugabe on the issue.
He further said there is need to have minutes of the meetings recorded during the Mugabe era and also of Tsvangirai, but there are no chances of getting them again.
Mpofu said he wanted the ConCourt to determine whether section 174 of the criminal evidence and procedures act is not violating the constitutional rights of the accused person.
He said it is unfortunate that an accused person under that law can be incarcerated for 15 years behind bar for carrying out a wrong decision.
Mpofu said there are magistrates, judges and prosecutors being arrested for consenting to an application under this section 174 and that needs to be scrutinised.
But the State represented by Zivanai Macharaga asked the court for time to respond to the submission and the matter was postponed to July 22.