Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
Former Secretary for Mines and Mining Development Professor Francis Gudyanga yesterday gave his evidence in camera after the court insisted that he reveals the information he said was confidential. This comes after Prof Gudyanga refused to answer questions in the trial of two Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) bosses, saying it was classified information.
Although Prof Gudyanga vowed that he would not answer the question in camera, the National Prosecuting Authority intervened and asked him to answer the question.
In May this year, Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa wrote to the court confirming that the information being solicited by the defence team, Messrs Admire Rubaya and Oliver Marwa, was indeed confidential.
Lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya castigated the affidavit by Minister Chidhakwa as a vague document, which was unconstitutional.
The accused are MMCZ acting deputy general manager (finance and administration) Hannan Tongai Chitate (35) and acting general manager Richard Chingodza (41). The pair is accused of swindling MMCZ of $625 226, 88.
Mr Rubaya accused Prof Gudyanga of somersaulting after the defence team hit on the nerve and touched on issues that destroy the State case.
He said they were soliciting the information to prove that Prof Gudyanga was a dishonest man and could not be believed.
“The same minister (Minister Chidhakwa) once threw Prof Gudyanga under the bus, saying he knew nothing about payments to Pedstock,” said Mr Rubaya.
“Prof Gudyanga made representation that money was going to Minerals and Border Control Unit and later said the money was not going there.
“What they are trying to protect is already on the peripheral. The information we are soliciting is important to the defence.”
The prosecutor Mrs Mutamangira-Mavhondo argued that in terms of Section 296 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, the minister can dispose an affidavit if the information being solicited in criminal proceedings is prejudicial to State security.