12 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Cornered Gudyanga Gives Nikuv Saga Testimony in Camera

Photo: Joe Gratz/Flickr
(File photo).

Former mines secretary Francis Gudyanga Monday testified about the funding of Nikuv saga in camera after he was cornered by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to narrate the information he refused to disclose in court saying it was classified.

Gudyanga is a key witness in a case which his subordinates, former Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) acting general manager, Richard Chingodza and his deputy, Hannah Chitate, are accused of conniving to fraudulently award themselves allowances and loans totalling $625 226,88 last year.

Through their lawyers, Chitate and Chingodza allege that Gudyanga is the one who is fraudulent as he sat in the parastatal body alone and unlawfully awarded himself various allowances.

Gudyanga admitted under cross examination that he made a request for Minerals and Border Control Unit (MBCU) police department but the money amounting $575 000 never went to police coffers but to Pedistock Ltd.

Pedistock is reportedly linked to Nikuv International Projects which reportedly helped Zanu PF to rig the previous presidential elections.

After he was asked by one of the lawyers, Admire Rubaya why he fraudulently requested for that money refused to answer saying the information was classified.

He vowed never to answer the question even in camera but NPA forced him to respond.

The other lawyer Oliver Marwa produced other documents which revealed that Gudyanga requested more money, including $150 000 for the Pan-African University, $300 000 which was recorded as for outstanding obligations and $100 000 for Kutama Mission centenary celebrations, all of which were not backed by ministerial orders.

Gudyanga told the court that he requested the money, but argued that MMCZ was obliged to fund activities as its corporate social responsibility.

The lawyer then accused Gudyanga of hiding behind a finger by refusing to respond since the information he refused to divulge was already on the internet.

Following this, Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa wrote to the court supporting Gudyanga saying he must not to respond to questions put to him by the lawyers as the information was classified.

Chidhakwa said if released the information was prejudicial and a threat to national security.

However the magistrate Elijah Makomo ruled that the case should proceed in camera.

Molly Mutamangira appeared for the state.

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