Zimbabwe: No Bail for 'Flight Risk' Mupfumira

Priscah Mupfumira arriving at court (file photo).
23 September 2019

Fired Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira, who is facing corruption allegations involving US$95 million, was on Friday back in court for her routine remand.

Harare provincial magistrate Mrs Vongai Muchuchuti-Gurira remanded the matter to October 4.

Mupfumira was represented by Mr Charles Chinyama.

She is facing seven counts of criminal abuse of office after allegedly forcing the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) into dodgy investment deals leading to a prejudice of over US$95 million during the time she was Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister.

The former minister had her bail application denied by Harare magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo.

In denying Mupfumira bail, magistrate Mr Makomo ruled that she was a flight risk, among several other grounds.

"The State mentioned the existence of two passports in the name of the accused; an ordinary passport and a diplomatic one," he said.

"In that ordinary passport is a multiple entry visa to the United Kingdom expiring in 2028.

"Clearly, this visa gives her residence in the UK for the next nine years. This means she has strong connections with that country," said Mr Makomo.

"This must be taken in light of the deposition of the investigating officer that she owns houses in that country. This is a strong factor militating against the accused's bid for freedom."

Mr Makomo raised the issue of the gravity of the offence as an inducement for abscondment.

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