Prosecutors ordered to give Supa documents for his defence, trial pushed to January

Spread This News

By Court Reporter

THE State was Friday ordered to give former Information Communication Technology (ICT) Minister Supa Mandiwanzira documents he demanded this week while saying they were key to preparing for his defence.

Harare magistrate Francis Mapfumo ordered prosecutor Michael Chakandida to avail the documents.

He however trashed some of Mandiwanzira’s requests saying they were irrelevant.

“The defence requested for documents showing how the accused’s PA was appointed to the board unlawfully. For a contract to be terminated, there should be existence of appointment documentation and the state is therefore ordered to furnish the defence with the particulars,” said Mapfumo.

Court ruled there is need to confirm whether Tawanda Chinembiri, Mandiwanzira’s PA was a government employee when he was appointed a ministry representative on the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) board.

The state had only provided confirmation of termination of his contract by the Public Service Commission in September this year.

The state was also ordered to release documents showing correspondence between NetOne and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

The correspondence relates to exchange control approval for the payment to Megawatt Energy (Pvt) Limited.

Court ruled the documents were relevant in the trial.

Mandiwanzira will also be given a copy of minutes of meetings held by the ministry in February 2016.

Mapfumo however ruled it was baseless for the ex-minister to be furnished with tender details between NetOne and Huawei and State Procurement Board (SPB) documents authorising the contract.

“The particulars the court can only order the State to release must be relevant to the trial. The documents requested in this regard are not relevant to the trial because the state is not going to rely on that.

“The state indicated that some of communication was done verbally. As such, the request is hereby refused,” said the magistrate.

Mandiwanzira will be back in court on January 21 next year for trial.

Mandiwanzira, who is also Zanu PF MP for Nyanga South, is accused of criminal abuse of office after he allegedly engaged South African firm, Megawatt Company to provide services to NetOne without going to tender.

He is also being accused of improperly having Chinembiri on the POTRAZ board. He is denying both charges.