Zimdef case goes to Concourt

Source: Zimdef case goes to Concourt | The Herald January 21, 2017

Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
The case in which Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Godfrey Gandawa is facing criminal abuse of office charges for allegedly benefited illegally from over $430 000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) has been referred to the Constitutional Court.

Gandawa applied for the matter to be referred the Constitutional Court, arguing that his arrest by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) was unconstitutional.

Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro granted Gandawa’s application. In her ruling, Mrs Guwuriro said the Concourt had to decide whether or not Zacc had the power to arrest and detain suspects.

“The accused was not informed of the offence at the time of his arrest and he was denied the opportunity to consult his lawyer,” said Mrs Guwuriro. “He did not enjoy his constitutional rights. The Concourt has to decide whether Zacc officers have arresting powers.

“Whether or not the Prosecutor- General can order the Commissioner-General of the police to arrest suspects, State did not comment on that issue. The Concourt has to decide whether or not the Acting Prosecutor- General’s powers are limited to ordering an investigation.”

Mrs Guwuriro declared the search warrant by Zacc null and void.

“The search warrant raises legal and not constitutional issues,” she said. “A search warrant should not be too general and, therefore, it cannot be relied upon.”

Mrs Guwuriro then removed Gandawa from remand. He remanded his co-accused, Zimdef finance director Nicholas Mapute, to February 15 because he wishes to stand trial.

Gandawa and Mapute are accused of unlawfully benefiting from about $430 000 from Zimdef between November 2015 and June 2016. Some of the counts include $95 800 which was transferred from Zimdef to Wishbone Trading through Cabs.

Gandawa allegely received $20 000 through his personal Barclays account after which he transferred $19 030 to HIB Rajput PL T/A Ace Cycles.

Gandawa also allegedly transferred $27 550 to SKM Motorcycles for 10 tricycles for Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo.

The balance was allegedly withdrawn in cash. It is alleged that $107 525 was transferred from Zimdef to Fuzzy Technologies’ NMB Bank account, of which $5 745 was transferred to Pridham Investments for Gandawa’s personal furniture.

Gandawa also allegedly paid for 69 bicycles worth $7 260 for Prof Moyo. He also allegedly transferred $12 900 to Wisebone Trading as capital to finance his personal business while the remainder was withdrawn in cash.