Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
Harare Magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo on Tuesday deferred the matter in which former Minister Supa Mandiwanzira is being charged with criminal abuse of office to July 16, pending a High Court determination in which the State wants a rescission of the judgment acquitting him.
Prosecutor Mr George Manokore asked the court to postpone the matter further, saying they were awaiting for procedures at High Court.
Before the acquittal, Mandiwanzira was facing two counts of criminal abuse of office as a public officer during his tenure as a Cabinet minister.
Mandiwanzira allegedly hand-picked a South African company called Megawatt (Private) Limited to offer services to NetOne without going to tender.
Megawatt was hired to review prices charged by a Chinese firm, Huawei Technologies, for the supply of network expansion and modernisation equipment to NetOne.
Of the fees charged, Megawatt successfully negotiated for a reduction of $30 million.
After the negotiations, Mandiwanzira instructed the then NetOne chief executive Mr Reward Kangai and some board members to pay Megawatt $4 million.
According to the State papers, $1 million was for consultancy, while $3 million was a “success fee”.
NetOne declined to pay Megawatt, arguing that tender procedures had not been followed and that legally, it had no valid contract with Megawatt.
Investigations established that Mandiwanzira was a director of a company called Blue Nightingale, which had shares in Megawatt.
Mandiwanzira is also being accused of irregularly appointing his personal assistant to the board of NetOne.
He was arrested recently after handing himself over to the police on his return from an overseas trip.