Gandawa ally cries foul

Source: Gandawa ally cries foul | The Herald January 26, 2017

Fungai Lupande: Court Reporter

A BUSINESSMAN accused of intimidating a key witness in a case in which Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Godfrey Gandawa faces criminal abuse of office charges has claimed that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission plotted his downfall.Gandawa (pictured) is accused of abusing funds from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund. The key witness in the matter is Mr Walter Chasara. It is alleged Mr Malvern Chimutashu, the businessman, fabricated an affidavit suggesting that Mr Chasara made a false report against Gandawa at Zacc.

In his application for referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court, Mr Chimutashu through his lawyer Mr Clemence Ngweshiwa, told the court that the withdrawal affidavit was created by Zacc.

“The affidavit was created by Zacc and they used Chasara to lure the accused. He was entrapped,” said Mr Ngweshiwa. “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.

“The police investigations were shoddy. The accused know nothing about the withdrawal affidavit. He was not present during the trap and nobody saw him handing Chasara the document.”

Prosecuting, Mr Michael Reza said Mr Chimutashu’s application was frivolous and vexatious.

“By admitting that he was entrapped, the accused has entered a plea of guilty,” said Mr Reza. “Section 260 of the Criminal Law and Codification Act is clear that entrapment shall be no defence to a crime.

“The other issues he talked about are triable.”

Harare magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube will make a ruling on January 30. Mr Reza alleged that on July 27 last year, Mr Chasara reported Gandawa at the Zacc offices for fraud. It is alleged that between the end of July to September 7 2016, Mr Chimutashu met Mr Chasara during investigations and persuaded him to withdraw the charge.

Mr Chimutashu allegedly crafted an affidavit in Mr Chasara’s name purporting that he had made a false report to Zacc. The affidavit dissociated Mr Chasara from being a key witness.

It indicated that Mr Chasara was enticed with money to report Gandawa. On September 6, 2016 Mr Chasara reported Mr Chimutashu to Zacc. Mr Chimutashu was arrested at Avondale Shopping Centre in Harare the following day as he was handing Mr Chasara the affidavit.

Mr Chimutashu was arrested by officers from Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zacc. The alleged affidavit was recovered from Mr Chasara.