Moyo, Gandawa score court relief

HARARE - Harare magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe yesterday dismissed the State’s warrant of arrest application against Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, while also releasing his deputy Godfrey Gandawa on $500 bail, after he had spent a night in prison over the fraud allegations that the two are facing.

Chikwekwe said the State had no legal basis to apply for the warrant of arrest against Moyo, after the minister did not show up at his initial remand hearing on Friday, as he had not been required to do so by the court.

“He (Moyo) was never summoned to appear in this court. What is only before this court is his name. The State is wrong.FROM P1

“In fact, they are trying to apply for a warrant where there is no legal basis. It therefore follows that the application for a warrant of arrest is dismissed,” Chikwekwe ruled.

In the meantime, and in yet another twist to the graft storm surrounding Moyo, it emerged yesterday that President Robert Mugabe had, through his office, informed the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) that he wanted Moyo to accompany him to the National University of Science and Technology (Nust)’s graduation ceremony in Bulawayo on Friday, the same day that the minister was supposed to attend court.

Well-placed sources told the Daily News that the acting secretary for Zacc had even promised the President’s Office, that they would comply with Mugabe’s request, although the anti-graft body still continued to pursue its warrant of arrest application against Moyo.

Meanwhile, Gandawa and Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) principal director for finance, Nicholas Mapute, were both released on $500 bail each yesterday, after spending a night in prison over the fraud allegations that they face together with Moyo.

Chikwekwe noted that the State’s submission to also bar Mapute from going to his offices would be tantamount to suspending him from his employment.

“That would create a plethora of labour issues and the State has failed to proffer compelling reasons to that effect,” he said.

In opposing bail for the two men, prosecutor Lovett Masuku had claimed that Gandawa was an unsuitable candidate because he had allegedly manipulated documents linking him to the offence.

The investigating officer, Lovemore Findi, also said Gandawa had allegedly doctored key documents since July 2012, in a bid to cover his tracks.

“If granted bail there is likelihood that the accused person will intimidate witnesses most of whom are his subordinates.

“There was an invoice manufactured and fictitious delivery note purporting that the ministry had received outstanding 120 computers, which the accused person is charged for,” Findi said.

However, Chikwekwe disagreed, saying “the State also failed to give the court names of witnesses that first accused person (Gandawa) is alleged to have influenced. He is a perfect candidate for bail as he co-operated with officials during arrest until he appeared in court”.

According to the State, between December 2015 and April this year, Gandawa corruptly concealed his personal interest in various transactions when he engaged his company Fuzzy Technologies, where he is co-director with his daughter Clarence, to supply the ministry with 170 computers worth $107 525, as well as an additional 75 computers worth $42 250 and materials for use at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair valued at $185 525.

Comments (1)

I would genuinely applaud the Government if I knew that they were being genuine and committed to fighting corruption wherever it exists. If they were genuine then it would not just be the Professor facing the heat but literally hundreds more but especially those involved in the diamond industry? As leader of the now totally broken and ruined country Sir Robert can't say, "I didn't know, I wasn't informed?" Any good and proper leader would be asking questions on important issues right from the beginning? Excuse after excuse, never ever admitting failure or incompetence? UN has to be brought in to intervene here because everything is just so unfair and unjust here. We cannot rely on SADC anymore.

Mbewa - 7 November 2016

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