JUST IN: Mandiwanzira fights charge Mandiwanzira

Senior Court Reporter
Former Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Minister Supa Mandiwanzira who is facing a charge of criminal abuse of office as a public officer, yesterday notified the court of his intentions to file an application for exception to the charge.

Mandiwanzira is accused of irregularly appointing his personal assistant, Tawanda Chinembiri to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) board.

He appeared before senior regional magistrate Mr Trynos Utahwashe yesterday and expressed his intention to make the application without pre-empting the reasons. Mandiwanzira said he will submit the application in writing today.

The prosecution is expected to respond by July 6 and a ruling will be delivered on July 15. Mr Utahwashe then remanded him to July 15 ahead of his ruling.
The former minister is alleged to have committed the offence during his tenure as a Cabinet minister.

It is alleged Potraz lost $35 000 through allowances drawn by Chinembiri. Meanwhile, the same court has set July 3 as the new trial date for former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) chief executive officer Patrick Mavhura; former head of finance, administration and human resources Benania Shumba and the State-owned broadcaster’s former human resources manager Stephen Kundishora.

The three are facing charges of duping the national broadcaster of, among other things, a Mazda BT50 which they gave to Shumba at a book value of zero dollars, instead of more than US$11 000.

They appeared before Mr Utahwashe who remanded them to the new trial date following an application for postponement by prosecutor Mr George Manokore on the basis that they wanted to formally subpoena witnesses.

The matter was scheduled for trial yesterday but the state indicated that there was a miscommunication between them and witnesses because of the lockdown.
The State’s case is that on 17 August last year, Shumba wrote to Mavhura requesting to be allowed to buy the vehicle she had been issued by ZBC during her tenure.

Mavhura allegedly approved that she be allowed to buy the Mazda truck at zero cost, instead of US$11,000. The State further says Mavhura, Shumba and Kundishora then wrote to the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) authorising that the vehicle’s ownership be transferred to Shumba.

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