'Moyo, Gandawa scuttling trial'

HARARE - The State yesterday made sensational claims that Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo and his deputy Godfrey Gandawa — accused of embezzling more than $400 000 funds — were responsible for stalling progress to have their co-accused prosecuted.

This was said by prosecutor Lovett Masuku during routine remand proceedings of Nicholas Mapute, the principal director finance and administration at Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef), who is jointly charged with Gandawa.

Gandawa was recently removed from remand after successfully applying for his case to be referred to the Constitutional Court (Con-Court).

Mapute’s lawyer, Pisirai Kwenda, yesterday objected to a further remand of his client, arguing that he would be prejudiced by continuously attending court pending the outcome of the Con-Court appeal.

“Your worship, this delay has not been caused by the State but it is a result of his (Mapute) co-accused persons who are throwing spanners. The dockets are now ready and we intend to indict the accuse persons for trial at the High Court,” Masuku said to the court.

Kwenda objected: “The application for further remand by the State is not justified and no prejudice would be suffered if they proceed by way of summons. We had applied for these cases to be treated separately but the State insisted on a joint trial.

“However, that would not be possible in the meantime, considering that the Con-Court is yet to make determinations that affect the outcome of this case.

“His co-accused Gandawa was actually removed from remand after the court made a finding that no prejudice would be suffered if State proceeded by summons.”

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