BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
FORMER Public Service minister Priscah Mupfumira and her then permanent secretary Ngoni Masoka’s abuse of office trial will restart on September 15.
Mupfumira and Masoka, represented by Admire Rubaya, yesterday appeared before magistrate Stanford Mambanje who advised them of the new development.
Two witnesses who had testified in the case will take to the witness stand again when trial resumes.
- Mupfumira put to her defence
- Ex-minister Mupfumira seeks High Court review
- Court concedes to Mupfumira’s request
According to the State, Mupfumira directed the Public Service ministry to write a letter to Central Mechanical and Equipment Department (CMED) misrepresenting facts about the ministry’s fleet of vehicles.
As a result of the misrepresentation, CMED issued Mupfumira with a Jaguar and Masoka accepted the vehicle into the ministry.
Mupfumira ended up having three personal vehicles instead of two, according to her conditions of service.
In 2016, Mupfumira allegedly instructed one Mukondomi to pay tickets for her aides Kutyamadzo Shumbayaonda, Sphiwe Dhliwayo and Alexandria Bwerinofa using ministry funds, to attend her daughter’s wedding in Cape Town, South Africa.
It is alleged that they booked hotel accommodation for seven officials at Cape Town Hotel, and Mupfumira’s relatives were booked at Lord Charles and Southern Sun hotels using National Drought Accounts funds.
In another count, it is alleged that Mupfumira instructed the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) to bail out MetBank to the tune of US$15 million when it faced liquidity challenges.
The court heard that NSSA declined since the bank had previously defaulted on a US$25,3 million loan.
But Mupfumira and Masoka forced the authority to buy the bank’s properties worth US$4 908 050.
It is the State case that after buying the properties, Mupfumira received US$44 600 from the bank through her company, Beautyview Investments (Pvt) Ltd, where she is a director together with her children.
It is alleged Mupfumira was aware that the deposits were proceeds of a crime.
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