By Mary Taruvinga
Former Information Communication Technology (ICT) minister Supa Mandiwanzira has demanded an apology from Prosecutor General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi, for “misleading” the public into the belief he was corruptly acquitted by the High Court.
The Zanu PF Nyanga South legislator was responding to an application in which the PG is seeking rescission of a judgement by High Court Judge who recently quashed a charge in which he was accused of favouring a South African company, Megawatt with a consultancy deal when he was still cabinet minister.
Mandiwanzira said Hodzi is a liar and should stop blaming him for his office’s shoddy job.
In an opposing affidavit to Hodzi’s rescission application, Mandiwanzira said Hodzi must apologise to him, the High Court of Zimbabwe, his lawyers.
“I consider it particularly disrespectful and arrogant that Mr Hodzi has not taken the opportunity of this application to humble himself and apologise, retract or even to correct the reckless statements emanating from his office falsely accusing judges and officers of this Honorable Court of corruption when he knew he had never opposed the review and the urgent applications,” said Mandiwanzira.
“Instead of apologising for making these false allegations, Mr Hodzi maintains an arrogant capricious attitude, demeaning the processes and importance of this Honorable court and its officers.
“From his founding affidavit, it appears clearly that Mr Hodzi persists in making unsubstantiated insinuations and allegations that there was some manner of corruption which is relevant to this case. Otherwise why would he keep mentioning it,” he said.
“I believe with respect that Mr Hodzi must be directed to withdraw all insinuations of corruption against this court, its officers, my lawyers and I.”
Mandiwanzira said Hodzi defamed High Court Judges after he issued a public statement following his acquittal.
“It insults and demeans the processes of the honourable court,” he said.
The former minister also said there was proof that Hodzi had lied that his office was not served with papers.
“With direct reference to sources in his office some media on the 4th April 2019 reported that “Lies, deceit and underhand dealings had been “unearthed” in my “acquittal”.
“The article alleged that Mr Hodzi or his office had not been served with papers in order to make representations as required. This was not true,” Mandiwanzira said.
Attached to his opposing affidavit was proof that the Sherriff of the High Court and also his lawyers separately served the PG with the said papers.
“Mr Hodzi issued a press statement in his own hand. (I cannot understand why Mr Hodzi doubts himself and seeks to defend his credentials in public). In his press statement, Mr Hodzi gives contradictory explanations. In one breath he claims that he was not served with the notice of set down.
“In the same breadth, he accuses Mr Nyazamba of having not opposed the review application on time. I dare say that it is elementary under the rules of this honourable court, that parties who have not filed opposing affidavits are automatically barred. They are not served with a notice of set down.
“Mr Hodzi was either uninformed in this regard or he deliberately tried to mislead the public to whom his statement was addressed as if to cover up for something,” said Mandiwanzira.
Mandiwanzira filed his opposing affidavit last week.
He contends he did the right thing as his actions in fact led to the recovery of more than US$30 million for NetOne.
Mandiwanzira also said he acted with full approval and blessings from his principals.
He said: “I am clear in my conscience that I am not guilty of any offence.
“What is true and undisputable is that my efforts, sanctioned by my principals led to the recovery of US$30 million for NetOne. It was my duty and job as a Minister to do so.”
The media businessman said he is the one who chose a prosecutor who failed to respond to his application against prosecution so he must stop giving excuses simply because the High Court cleared him.
Prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba handled the case and has since been suspended for failing to respond to an application in which Mandiwanzira was challenging a ruling by Harare regional magistrate Elijah Makomo.
The magistrate had dismissed his application challenging trial.
Nyazamba has since been arrested for that and is yet to be prosecuted.
He said Hodzi’s case was not adding up and there were elementary issues that could have skipped his mind as a top law officer of the country.
Mandiwanzira is now facing a single charge of unlawfully appointing his personal assistant to Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) board.