Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Court grants Gudyanga reprieve

By Tendai Rupapa

Former Secretary for Mines and Mining Development Francis Gudyanga got a reprieve yesterday when a Harare magistrate granted his request to have his passport temporarily released to allow him to visit his ailing child in South Africa.

Secretary for Mines and Mining Development Professor Francis Gudyanga
Former Secretary for Mines and Mining Development Professor Francis Gudyanga

Gudyanga surrendered his passport to the court as part of his bail conditions.

Harare magistrate Ms Victoria Mashamba granted the application for Gudyanga to get his passport for two weeks to facilitate his travel.

The State had opposed the application made by Gudyanga’s lawyer, Mr Arshiel Mugiya arguing that Gudyanga was likely to flee.

On the other hand, Mr Mugiya said ever since his client was placed on remand, he had never absconded court.

In her ruling, Ms Mashamba concurred with the defence.

“After assessing submissions from both parties, the court will grant the application and release the passport for two weeks. Since his placement on remand, the accused person complied with his bail conditions and always attended court,” she said.

“The court sympathises with the accused person, he has a daughter who is not well in South Africa and the child’s mother is late.”

Gudyanga is jointly charged with former Minister of Mines and Mining Development Walter Chidhakwa.

Chidhakwa allegedly appointed Gudyanga as a lone board member at the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ).

The court heard that Chidhakwa was aware that the MMCZ Act required a minimum of six board members and a maximum of 10.

It is alleged that Gudyanga claimed $28 910 as board sitting fees when no board existed.

Gudyanga is also facing another charge of criminal abuse of office emanating from a dispute over Lenox Gold Mine Mashava.

He is jointly charged with the ministry’s acting provincial mining director, Masvingo Mrs Sibongubuhle Mpindiwa and the ministry’s legal advisor Mrs Jacqueline Munyonga

The trio recently applied for refusal of further remand before magistrate Ms Tilda Mazhande who threw out the application. The Herald