Zimbabwe: Mupfumira Trial in False Start

16 January 2020

The trial of former Minister Prisca Mupfumira and former Permanant Sectretary in the Ministry of Public Service and Social Welfare, Ngoni Masoka, today failed to start after the State failed to furnish them with some documents they had requested on their last court appearance to prepare their defence.

Mupfumira and Masoka, through their lawyers Thembinkosi Magwaliba, who is acting on lawyer Zivanai Makwanya's instructions and Lawyer Farai Mushoriwa respectively, had requested National Social Security Authority audited financial statements from the year 2015 to 2018 Cabinet Circular 4 of 2010 and Masoka's duties and responsibilities in his former capacity as Permanent Secretary.

The case involves a US$90 000 debt they acquired from National Social Security Authority and reportedly purchased a Land Cruiser VX-L 200 series instead of a Mercedes Benz and instructed the purchase of air tickets worth US$10 215 and paying accommodation of R113 559 without approval.

The State led by Mr Clement Chimbare acknowledged that they were in default of the court's order to furnish the two with the documents to prepare their defence.

Prosecutor Chimbare promised to furnish Mupfumira and Masoka with the papers on January 24 without fail.

Mupfumira and Masoka are being charged with two counts of criminal abuse of office and another count of concealing a transaction from a principal.

Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi set February 5 and 6 as the new trial dates.

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