Ex-Cabinet minister Supa Mandiwanzira, pictured, — who is facing two counts of criminal abuse of office — has offered to surrender an additional property worth $100 000 as surety in a bid to convince the courts that he does not intend to abscond trial.
The Nyanga South Zanu PF MP is accused of corruptly engaging a South African company Megawatt to do consultancy work for NetOne and for appointing his unqualified personal assistant to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) board.
The former Information Communication Technology minister offered his additional property when he was seeking temporary release of his passport and relaxation of the reporting conditions. Mandiwanzira has already surrendered another property worth $100 000 as part of his bail conditions.
Through his lawyer Thembinkosi Magwaliba, Mandiwanzira sought the release of his passport to enable him to travel to China for a crucial business trip. Magwaliba submitted that his client was not a flight risk after he handed himself over to the police when he landed from China in November last year.
“If the court wants additional surety, my client is willing to surrender additional security of a value of not less than $100 000, which is equivalent to the surety he initially surrendered,” Magwaliba said.
He also said Mandiwanzira’s business must not suffer “because he is facing criminal allegations.”
Magwaliba added that the reporting conditions are hindering the ex-minister from effectively representing his constituency.
Mandiwanzira was ordered to report twice a week at Borrowdale Police Station.
“Nyanga South Constituency is about 300km from Harare and in order to represent his constituency, he needs to travel there regularly.
This stifles his work as he has to travel back to Harare just to report to the police,” he said. Prosecutor Michael Chakandida opposed the application saying the State fears that Mandiwanzira will skip trial if bail conditions are varied.
Chakandida said Mandiwanzira is facing serious allegations that attract severe punishment, adding the accused has already lamented that he is being persecuted and is scared of being jailed once convicted. He submitted that while individual cases had their merits, there was a growing trend amongst individuals who skip trial.
He drew parallels to the cases of other former Cabinet ministers Saviour Kasukuwere and Walter Mzembi who skipped the court’s jurisdiction after the High Court dismissed their applications.
However, Magwaliba said it is improper for the State to draw parallels in the matters as circumstances differ.
Magistrate Elijah Makomo ordered Mandiwanzira to submit title deeds of the property for consideration before postponing the matter to tomorrow for ruling.