Geraldine Zaranyika Herald Reporter
FIRED Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira last Friday made a fresh bail application at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts following the expiry of her 21-day detention period.
Mupfumira was issued with a certificate of detention on July 27 and could not apply for bail before the lapse of the 21 days.
She also made another application challenging her arrest on the basis that the police officers who arrested her were seconded to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and, therefore, did not have arresting powers.
She argued that her arrest was null and void.
Said Mupfumira’s lawyer, Mr Charles Chinyama: “Members of the armed forces should not be involved in civilian organisations.”
Harare magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo remanded Mupfumira to today for ruling on the applications.
Mupfumira is facing seven counts of criminal abuse of office involving US$95 million when she was Labour and Social Welfare Minister.
Her recent application for bail at the Supreme Court hit a brick wall after Justice Anne-Marie Gowora ruled that her grounds of appeal lacked merit.
Justice Gowora also criticised the decision by High Court judge Justice Erica Ndewere to set aside the certificate of detention issued by the Prosecutor-General.
Mr Chinyama told the magistrates’ court that he wrote a letter to the Supreme Court judge seeking clarification on whether the reinstatement of the certificate runs from when it was stopped by the High Court.
In her bail application, Mupfumira submitted that she should be granted bail as former permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Ngoni Masoka, who is facing similar charges, is out on bail.
Prosecutor Michael Reza opposed bail saying Mupfumira lied to police officers who were trying to arrest her.
“She told the police officers that she was at Parliament and when they got there she was not present. She later told the police that she had got home,” Mr Reza said.
He said Mupfumira’s behaviour was evidence that she was trying to evade lawful arrest.