ACTING general manager at the Zimbabwe Mineral Development Corporation (ZMDC) Luke Akino is now likely to stand trial on his own following the death of his co-accused David Murangari.
Akino and Murangari, who died over the weekend, were being jointly charged for corruptly awarding a $168 000 consultancy services contract to their acquaintance.
The two were expected to appear in court tomorrow to make an application for stay of proceedings in their case after they approached the High Court challenging Harare regional magistrate Mr Hoseah Mujaya’s decision to dismiss their bid for exception to the charges.
The State will be left with no option, but to make an application for separation of trial, so that Akino answers to the charges on his own.
Prosecuting, Mr Michael Reza, said sometime in July 2017, ZMDC received $7 million from Fidelity Printers through its then acting general manager Mr Garikai Chimhina for the resuscitation of Jena Mine, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ZMDC, which was facing operational challenges.
Mr Reza alleged that sometime in August 2017, the ZMDC board chaired by Murangari appointed Akino as acting general manager and he influenced ZMDC to engage Thomas Mushungupa’s company called Mushungupa and Muhita Engineering Projects (Pvt) Ltd to resuscitate Jena Mine.
The court heard that his actions favoured his acquaintance and former Bindura Nickel Corporation workmate Mushungupa.