Jailed exPerm Sec Gudyanga’s appeal hearing set down for this Thursday 

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By Mary Taruvinga

HIGH Court Judge, Justice Pisirayi Kwenda, is this Thursday expected to hear the appeal by former secretary for mines, professor Francis Gudyanga who is serving two and half years for abusing his duties as a public officer.

Gudyanga was in February this year caged for four years by a Harare magistrate, Barbara Chimboza who suspended part of his sentence on condition he restitutes the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) a total of US$25 228.

He was convicted on charges of fraud after receiving US$28 910 board member fees from MMCZ for three years despite its absence.

Gudyanga was charged alongside former mines minister, Walter Chidakwa who was however acquitted at the close of the State’s case.

The court heard that sometime in December 2013, Chidakwa corruptly dissolved the MMCZ board and proceeded to illegally appoint Gudyanga to act as the board’s only member.

Over a three year period, Gudyanga received varying payments monthly for board meetings which were never held.

In his notice of appeal filed through his lawyer Norman Mugiya back in February, Gudyanga said he would appeal against both conviction and sentence.

Gudyanga said even if his conviction was upheld, the sentence was too stiff and should have been two years with 18 months suspended on condition he repaid the allowances he received within one month of the date of sentence.

His main ground of appeal was that the court relied on bank statements showing the inflow of the US$25 228, but the original charge had a different amount.

He also complained that his co accused, who was his boss, Chidakwa, was acquitted at the close of state’s case yet he was the one who assigned him the duties, approved payments and appointed him to be board chairperson of MMCZ.

Gudyanga also said the lower court erred in ordering him to pay the money in US currency contrary to SI 33/2019 and the provisions of finance Act.