Chimutashu Concourt bound

Source: Chimutashu Concourt bound | The Herald February 4, 2017

Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
The case of a 33-year-old businessman, Malvern Chimutashu, who is accused of intimidating a key witness in Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Godfrey Gandawa’s criminal abuse of office case was on Thursday referred to the Constitutional Court. Harare magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube ruled that the Concourt has to decide whether or not the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) has arresting powers.

“It is not in dispute that the accused was arrested by Sergeant Chacha who is on secondment to Zacc,” he said. “It is also not in dispute that Sergeant Chacha takes orders from Zacc. The Concourt has to decide whether or not Zacc has arresting powers.”

Mr Ncube removed Chimutashu from remand pending his Concourt application. In his application for referral to the Concourt through his lawyer Mr Clemence Ngweshiwa, Chimutashu said Zacc’s constitutional mandate is to recommend investigations.

“They do not have the arresting powers. The accused was arrested, detained and had his warned and cautioned statement taken by Zacc officials,” said Mr Ngweshiwa. The prosecutor, Mr Michael Reza, opposed the application and submitted that the section of the constitution quoted by Chimutashu in his application was improper.

“Section 167 (5) he quoted applies to direct access to the Concourt, the correct section is 175 (4),” said Mr Reza. “The application is frivolous and vexatious.” Chimutashu allegedly created a withdrawal affidavit purporting that the key witness Walter Charasa made a false report against Gandawa at Zacc.

The case against Gandawa involves misappropriation of funds at the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef). Mr Reza alleged that on July 27 last year, Chasara reported Dr Gandawa at the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) for fraud.

It is alleged that between the end of July to September 7 2016, Chimutashu met Chasara during investigations and persuaded him to withdraw the charge. Chimutashu allegedly crafted an affidavit in Chasara’s name purporting that he had made a false report to Zacc.

The affidavit dissociated Chasara from being a key witness and it indicated that he was coerced to make a report after being promised money. On September 6, 2016 Chasara reported Chimutashu to Zacc.

Chimutashu was arrested at Avondale Shopping Centre in Harare the following day while handing Chasara the affidavit.