'Girlfriends, children milk Mangwana'

HARARE - A lawyer accused of swindling Zanu PF MP Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana says the politician was milked by girlfriends and numerous out-of -wedlock children.

Mangwana accuses 31-year-old Burukai Muchadzireva who worked as a lawyer at his law firm in Chinhoyi of pilfering over $2 000.

But, tables turned in court when Muchadzireva said the money was collected by the Chivi Central legislator’s girlfriends, relatives and children at the MP’s insistence.

Muchadzireva is facing 22 counts of theft of trust property and four counts of fraud.

She, however, said the directives to take the money were specifically made to her by Mangwana over the telephone and written documents.

“I undertook my duties and directives from Mangwana all the time, be it to pay monies for Mangwana’s lunches in Harare, for his personal use, his girlfriends, transport, rents and fees for out-of -wedlock children and relatives that would come from Karoi and Harare,” said Muchadzireva.

Mangwana refuted Muchadzireva’s allegations, which he described as false.

“I never sent anyone to collect any money,” Mangwana told the court.

Muchadzireva, according to State papers, was employed as a lawyer in charge of Mangwana and Partners, a law firm belonging to the Constitutional Parliamentary Select Committee (Copac) co-chairperson during the time the offence was allegedly committed.

Prosecutors accuse Muchadzireva of pocketing money she received from several of the law firm’s clients between May and November 2010.

It is alleged Muchadzireva did not issue some receipts to the clients and failed to bank the money.

She allegedly further pocketed $440 which was meant for rentals. Her arrest led to the recovery of $150 and 1 950 South African rand, which she claimed had been paid by a client called Morris Mpofu, the court was told.

The case continues on Thursday. - Ivan Zhakata

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