Mandiwanzira wants more documents ahead of trial

HARARE - Former ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira has requested for more particulars to adequately prepare his defence in his criminal abuse of office trial.

Mandiwanzira allegedly engaged a South African company, Megawatt, to do consultancy work for NetOne without following procedure. 

He is also accused of appointing his personal assistant to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) board.

Mandiwanzira, who is represented by Thembinkosi Magwaliba, appeared before magistrate Francis Mapfumo and demanded police’s running diary, a contract between NetOne and Huawei Technologies, correspondence between the State and the Procurement Board and a renegotiated contract between NetOne and Huawei Technologies.

The Nyanga South legislator also demanded a copy of government procedures, minutes of a meeting held in February 2016, correspondence between NetOne and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, title deeds and proof of ownership of Blue Nightingale which the State alleges he had interest in amongst other particulars.

“The particulars are necessary for the accused to prepare for his defence and the requested particulars must be furnished,” Magwaliba said.

Prosecutor Tapiwa Godzi opposed the application, saying the requested documents are not relevant to the State case and that they do not have the said documents.

Godzi said they have already furnished Mandiwanzira with 30 documents, adding that the request for further particulars was meant to have the matter postponed.

He said: “It is my view that the request is calculated to deliberately delay trial. In the few days I have been appearing in this court, I have noticed an unusual habit of lawyers who postpone matters.

“We now have postponing lawyers and I urge the court to dismiss the application and proceed to trial.”

However, Magwaliba said the bold submission that the documents are not available and that the State will not rely on them does not sit well with his client.

“He says the documents are not in possession of the State. 

“What was the State alleging when they said he owns Blue Nightingale?

“One of the State witnesses,  Reward Kangai talks of title deeds which we have never seen. We want to prepare our cross examination in relation to Kangai. What is the State hiding?” Magwaliba queried.

Mapfumo remanded the matter to December 21 for ruling.

 

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