Chidhakwa's case postponed

HARARE - Former Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidhakwa will appear in court on January 31, following the postponement of his case yesterday.

Chidhakwa, 54, is currently out on $300 bail, granted by Harare magistrate Josephine Sande.

Sande ordered him to report once every Friday at Highlands Police Station, surrender his passport with the clerk of court and not to interfere with State witnesses.

The case could not be heard yesterday after it was deferred to month-end.

His lawyer, Sylvester Hashiti, however, gave notice of application of refusal of further remand.

Chidhakwa was arrested after the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission launched an investigation into his conduct while still at the Mines ministry.

The State alleges that he colluded with former Mines ministry secretary Francis Gudyanga who allegedly prejudiced the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ).

The State alleges that in December 2013, Chidhakwa abused his office by corruptly dissolving the MMCZ board and appointing Gudyanga to act as its board for the period extending from December 2013 to September 2016.

According to the State, the MMCZ Act Chapter 21:4 states that a board is constituted by a minimum of six members and a maximum of 10, but contrary to stipulation, Chidhakwa appointed one person to act as a board, thereby abusing his duties as a public officer.

Gudyanga, then allegedly, went on to corruptly claim an amount of $28 910 as board and sitting allowances when there was no board in existence, to the prejudice of the MMCZ.