Key witness ‘intimidated’

Source: Key witness ‘intimidated’ | The Herald January 10, 2017

Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
A 33-year-old businessman allegedly persuaded a key witness in Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Godfrey Gandawa’s criminal abuse of duty case to withdraw the charges.

The case against Gandawa involved misappropriation of funds at the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef).

The court heard that Walter Chasara is the key witness in the matter.

The businessman, Malvern Chimutashu, yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube facing charges of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

The matter was adjourned to January 16 for trial.

Prosecutor Mr Michael Reza alleged that on July 27 last year, Chasara reported 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.

The affidavit was recovered.