State ordered to provide Supa with documents

HARARE - A Harare magistrate has ordered the State to provide former ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira some of the documents that he requested to adequately prepare his defence for his criminal abuse of office trial.

Mandiwanzira’s allegations relate to his engagement of a South African company, Megawatt, to do consultancy work for NetOne without following procedure.

They also relate to the appointment of his personal assistant Raymond Tawanda Chinembiri to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) board.

Magistrate Francis Mapfumo ordered the state to hand over minutes of a meeting held in February 2016 and correspondence between Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and NetOne over the request for payment of $4 million by Megawatt.

Mapfumo also ordered the State to release documents relating to the appointment of Chinembiri to the Potraz board.

“The defence was served with a letter of termination of contract. For it to be terminated, it means there is a letter of appointment. The State is ordered to release the documents relating to his appointment,” Mapfumo said.

However, Mapfumo said some of the documents that the Nyanga East legislator requested were not relevant to the charge, adding that in some instances the defence failed to meaningfully justify their requests.

These include police diary, a contract between NetOne and Huawei Technologies, title deeds and proof of ownership of Blue Nightingale which the State alleges he had interest in, a renegotiated contract between NetOne and Huawei Technologies among other particulars.

“It is the court’s view that the mere mention of these documents in the state outline does not mean they are relevant to the charges,” he said before remanding the matter to January 21.

Through his lawyer Thembinkosi Magwaliba, Mandiwanzira placed the State on notice that he intends to apply for relaxation of bail conditions on his next court appearance.

Michael Chakandida appeared for the State.

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