Mandiwanzira ‘acquittal’ under microscope, top prosecutor faces arrest

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By Staff Reporter

PROSECUTOR General Kumbirai Hodzi has referred for police investigation, a senior public prosecutor involved in the case in which corruption accused former Cabinet Minister Supa Mandiwanzira was “acquitted” early this week, can reveal.

According to the head of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) Thabani Mpofu, Hodzi wants the prosecutor (name withheld) charged.

“The Prosecutor General has acted swiftly and referred to the police a senior prosecutor who was involved in the case,” said Mpofu on Friday afternoon.

Mpofu also confirmed his unit was in the process of filling its notice of appeal against the “acquittal”, adding “in fact, the accused was never acquitted because he did not plead to the charges.

“He (Mandiwanzira) did not plead to the charge and he is not at law entitled to any verdict.

“When charges are withdrawn before plea, a judge or magistrate cannot acquit an accused. That is a legal position,” the prosecutor said.

He added that High Court Justice Nicholas Mathonsi’s order that has been interpreted to mean acquittal for Mandiwanzira did not specifically indicate so.

Asked what Justice Mathonsi meant when he said “charges had been quashed”, Mpofu said it was “just language”.

“It’s just language use. The order does not say he has been acquitted because it is not possible for that to happen.

“We have briefed lawyer Tinomudaishe Chinyoka to file our appeal but meanwhile, we are actually waiting for the next remand date and we would want to go to trial. We actually have many avenues, we could prefer fresh charges against Mandiwanzira,” said Mpofu.

The SACU boss also insisted, in filing a challenge against the Zanu PF MP’s trial, the defence mysteriously avoided serving court papers on Hodzi and the National Prosecuting Authority, instead preferring to serve them to the Attorney General’s office who has little relevance to the matter.

“For some reason that we are yet to understand, the defence served papers on the Attorney General’s office when they are not involved in the matter. The AG is not party to the proceedings.

“They did not serve the Prosecutor General and the NPA,” the top prosecutor claimed.

Justice Mathonsi, on Wednesday ruled in Mandiwanzira’s favour after the State inexplicably defaulted in filling papers, triggering a soul searching exercise within the NPA.