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Supa Mandiwanzira demands freedom

by Staff reporter
21 Jul 2020 at 17:53hrs | Views
FORMER Information Communication Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira, who is facing allegations of criminal abuse of office for allegedly seconding his personal assistant to the board of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) without due process, yesterday demanded his freedom.

Mandiwanzira has since filed for exception to the charge, arguing that the allegations do not disclose an offence. The State is yet to respond to his application.

Three different prosecutors have appeared on the matter seeking postponements which has raised the discomfort of Mandiwanzira.

Through his lawyer Fungai Chimwamurombe, Mandiwanzira, yesterday cornered the State demanding his freedom and the matter had to be taken to the chambers.

He told the court that he has been religiously attending court, incurring expenses and having difficulties in travelling from Nyanga where he is staying and risking Covid-19 yet the State was not forthcoming in finalising the matter.

Mandiwanzira filed an application on June 26 and the State was supposed to respond on July 6 with a ruling set for July 15, but the court could not proceed as there was no response from the State and the matter was postponed to yesterday.

Yesterday, there was also no response from the State, with prosecutor Michael Reza applying for a postponement to Friday.

On the last appearance, regional magistrate Bianca Makwande slammed the conduct of the State stalling the matter and ordered them to respond by the end of day July 16.

The ex-minister's lawyer argued that the State's conduct was a clear disregard of the court's order and urged the court to free him.

He said his application was to quash the charges and with the conduct of the State, it was prudent that he be freed.
The former minister was initially charged with two counts of the offence before the other count of engaging a South African firm, Megawatt Company, without due process was thrown out at the High Court.

In his exception application, the ex-minister has described the charge as "vague and embarrassing".

"The accused contends that even after the High Court adjudged count one of the charges he faces to be anomalous, the remaining charge is also irregular and offensive at law," the lawyers wrote.

Mandiwanzira is alleged to have seconded Tawanda Chinembiri to the Potraz board without following due process and caused the subsequent loss of $35 000 by Potraz through allowances drawn by Chinembiri.

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Source - Daily News

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