BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
FORMER Tourism minister Priscah Mupfumira yesterday finally tasted freedom after the High Court granted her $5 000 bail in a case in which she is accused of defrauding the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) of $95 million.
Mupfumira was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) in July and was denied bail on several occasions.
High Court judge Justice Amy Tsanga ordered Mupfumira to surrender title deeds of her Mt Pleasant home, reside at the given address, surrender her two passports and report twice a week at Mt Pleasant Police Station as part of her bail conditions.
The State had opposed bail, saying Mupfumira, who is facing seven counts of criminal abuse of office involving US$95 million, was a flight risk as she has properties in South Africa, Dubai and the United Kingdom.
The State had also alleged that Mupfumira will be charged with fraud and money-laundering, saying it had completed investigations into the fresh charges and will be ready to commence trial on the fresh charges once all due processes have been completed.
Michael Reza, who was representing the State along with Sharon Fero, alleged that Mupfumira directed NSSA to deposit money into her CBZ personal account, adding that she could also have externalised some of the money. On her initial appearance in court, Mupfumira was issued with a
21-day prohibition order that prevented all courts to entertain her bail pleas.
The former minister then proceeded to the High Court and the Supreme Court without success.
After 21 days, Mupfumira again approached the magistrate’s court for bail, but was again denied.