New Zimbabwe.com

Zimdef scandal: Ex-minister Gandawa indicted to High Court for trial

FORMER higher and tertiary education deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa has been formerly indicted for trial over the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) scandal.

Gandawa appeared Saturday before Harare magistrate Eric Kadye who referred his case to the High Court for trial which is expected to commence this month on a date yet to be determined.

The former junior government minister is facing 14 counts of fraud and criminal abuse of office.

He was arrested last year together with Nicholas Mapute, the Zimdef principal director of finance, for allegedly misappropriating over $400,000 in Zimdef funds.

The arrests, which also affected then higher education minister professor Jonathan Moyo, were carried out by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc).

According to the State, the fraud occurred sometime in November 2015.

Zimdef chief executive officer Fredrick Mandizvidza, in connivance with Gandawa and Mapute, produced fake documents purporting that the trustee of the fund (Moyo) had authorised and approved the purchase of 10 heavy-duty printers worth $95,800 when in actual fact no such authorisation and approval had been made.

Court heard that no printers were supplied to the ministry despite the suspects releasing the funds to Wisebone Trading, a company that specialises in agro-chemicals.

The suspects are also accused of unlawfully and corruptly processing personal loans amounting to $24,000.

Prosecutors say that, due to non-compliance with procedures, Zimdef suffered an actual prejudice of $122,800 with nothing recovered.

Again, between December 2015 and April last year, Gandawa corruptly concealed his personal interest in various transactions when he engaged his company, Fuzzy Technologies, to supply the ministry with 170 computers worth $107,525.

Gandawa is a co-director of the company with his daughter Clarence.

The former minister is also said to have supplied an additional 75 computers worth $42,250 and materials for use at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair worth $185,525.

Attorney Sebastin Mutizirwa appeared for the State.