Anti-graft boss' trial deferred

HARARE - Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya has deferred to December 10 judgment in a case in which Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) commissioner Emmanuel Chimwanda is accused of contravening the Official Secrets Act.

Judgment was postponed after the magistrate said his court was currently overwhelmed with other matters.

Chimwanda is accused of supplying dockets to four MDC officials — Thabani Mpofu, Warship Dumba, Felix Matsinde and Mehluli Tshuma — who have since appeared in court facing charges of impersonating the police, possessing articles for criminal use and breaching the Official Secrets Act.

He is further accused of providing the four MDC officials with information pertaining to on-going investigations about Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo’s alleged abuse of office.

When trial opened, Chimwanda denied the allegations, arguing the claims were “malicious, vindictive and baseless”.

In his defence Chimwanda’s lawyer, Jonathan Samukange, said police were working on circumstantial evidence.

“Sometimes when societies are getting corrupt, there is the tendency of prosecuting those trying to do the right thing. If you (court) convict him (Chimwanda), you are trying to perpetuate this corruption,” Samukange said in his closing submissions.

Prosecutor Michael Reza argued that Chimwanda was guilty and had intentions to deliberately embarrass President Robert Mugabe.

“The State is of the view that it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused person contravened the Official Secrets Act.

“It was his intention to embarrass those appointed by the president and, I dare say, to embarrass the president himself in that he is appointing people that are crooks,” Reza argued.

He alleged Chimwanda also connived with the four officials and compiled a summary of offences against then Attorney-General Johannes Tomana.

State alleges that in April last year; the commission was investigating a fraud case involving former Harare special interest councillor Charles Nyachowe.

It is alleged Chimwanda requested the docket and provided the information to Mpofu, Dumba, Matsinde and Tshuma.

In his evidence Dumba, a former councillor said Chombo was “vindictive” and did not want people poking their noses into his “shady deals”.

He said the minister should be investigated as there was documentary evidence on his deals.

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