Jailed ex-Minister Mupfumira freedom bid flops again

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By Mary Taruvinga

JAILED former Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira’s latest bid to secure her freedom fell through again when the High Court denied her bail.

The axed minister faces a slew of corruption related offences she allegedly committed when she was still Public Service Minister.

In passing judgement, High Court judge, Erica Ndewere said Friday the disgraced former top government official was unfit for bail because she was facing serious charges.

The judge said the State managed to convince her court that Mupfumira may also tamper with evidence.

Mupfumira is facing seven criminal abuse of office charges after she allegedly swindled National Social Security Authority (Nssa) out of US$95 million.

Prosecutor Michael Reza said investigations were complete in respect of three charges Mupfumira is facing.

“The State is ready to proceed to trial in respect of those three counts,” said Reza, who also successfully persuaded the judge to deny the Zanu PF official bail saying she has already intimidated witnesses.

The court was told it was difficult to gather evidence since Mupfumira threatened to fire her juniors if they ever entertained the investigating officers.

Mupfumira was remanded in custody after Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi issued a special certificate that allowed the State to keep her in custody for 21 days pending investigations.

The special certificate was issued in terms of Section 32 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.

Mupfumira will be back in court on August 23.