BY CHARLES LAITON
Former Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services minister Supa Mandiwanzira has approached the High Court seeking an order to dismiss the Prosecutor-General’s application, which sought to challenge his acquittal on charges of criminal abuse of office.
Mandiwanzira is facing criminal charges for awarding a US$218 million auditing contract to South Africa-based Megawatt Energy firm in a deal which allegedly prejudiced State mobile network operator NetOne of US$5 million.
However, when his trial commenced at the Harare Magistrates’ Court, he made an application for exception which was dismissed and he then approached the High
Court challenging the trial court’s decision and a ruling was made in his favour.
High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi granted a default judgment against magistrate Elijah Makomo, Prosecutor-General, Kumbirai Hodzi and the National
Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
“The application for review is hereby granted. The judgment of the first respondent (Makomo) dated February 15, 2019 be and is hereby set aside and substituted
with an order that count one of the charges brought against the applicant (Mandiwanzira) on December 7, 2018 is hereby quashed,” Justice Mathonsi ruled.
Following the court’s ruling, Hodzi and the NPA then filed an application for rescission of judgment which they failed to pursue, prompting Mandiwanzira to
apply for the dismissal of the same.
“This matter is an application for dismissal for want of prosecution for an application for rescission of judgment made by the respondents (Hodzi and NPA)
under case number UC3404/19 … a reference to the file in the matter will show that respondents filed an application for rescission of judgment on April 25,
2019. Since the filing of the notice of opposition and opposing affidavit by the applicant, the respondents have not filed any answering affidavit or heads of
arguments. It is apparent that the respondents have no intention to have this matter finalised,” Mandiwanzira said in his affidavit.
“In the circumstances and in light of the averments on the merits in my opposing affidavit in case HC3404/19, it is also understandable that respondents have
not pursued their application because they have no prospects of success. In the premise, and to ensure finality in the matter, the applicant hereby applies for
the dismissals of respondent’s application for rescission of judgment in case number HC3404/19 for want of prosecution …”
The matter is pending.