Mupfumira trial stayed 

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By Mary Taruvinga

CORRUPTION accused former cabinet minister, Prisca Mupfumira, had her criminal abuse of office trial stayed, awaiting High Court’s ruling on her application for review.

She is facing criminal abuse of office charges.

Mupfumira is accused of abusing office in the process that led to the US$3,5 million property development deal between the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) and Drawcard Enterprises.

She was jointly charged with Barnabas Matongera, who walked free at the close of the state’s case recently.

After her alleged accomplice was cleared, Mupfumira sought discharge, but magistrate Ngoni Nduna dismissed her application, saying she has a case to answer.

Mupfumira then approached the upper court, challenging Nduna’s ruling, arguing that the magistrate erred in dismissing her application for discharge.

On Monday she then applied to have the trial stayed, awaiting High court’s determination, a request that has been upheld.

Nduna said the review application will enable both parties, including himself,  to know if there was a prima facie case.

“The review taken by the accused is a clear opportunity for the state and it will serve the dual purpose. There are questions which the review can answer, and l will allow the postponement to a time the review will be determined,” Nduna ruled.

The matter was then postponed to June 29, pending the determination of the review.

According to the state,Mupfumira and Matongera gave specific instructions to NSSA to proceed with a housing project named Mzenya Off-take Housing Scheme, which ought to have been done in compliance with tender procedures.

Further, it is charged they did so without Approval from NSSA Board of Directors.

In so doing, they are alleged to have engaged a company, Drawcard Enterprises Private Limited,  without the NSSA Board approval and by- passing tender procedures, thereby showing undue favour to Drawcard Enterprises Pvt Ltd, conduct which amounted to criminal abuse of public office.