By Daniel Nemukuyu
Criminal charges against Zimdef chief executive Mr Fredrick Mandizvidza were yesterday dropped and he will now testify against former Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Godfrey Gandawa and two other officials.
The prosecution withdrew charges against Mr Mandizvidza because the evidence gathered did not link him to the fraud and criminal abuse of office charges.
Instead, the prosecution felt he will be of much assistance to the court as a State witness and not an accused person.
Harare lawyer Mr Wilson Manase of Manase & Manase Legal Practitioners, who represented Mr Mandizvidza confirmed the development.
However, lawyers representing Gandawa, Zimdef principal director Nicholas Mapute and Shepherd Hozheri, former personal assistant to the now fugitive former minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, yesterday notified the court of their intention to apply for quashing of the charges.
Justice Herbert Chitapi postponed the trial of the three to Thursday morning.
The fugitive former minister will now be prosecuted separately, as soon as he comes back to Zimbabwe.
Gandawa was arrested last year together with Mapute and Hozheri for allegedly misappropriating over $400 000 in Zimdef funds.
The arrests, which also affected Prof Jonathan Moyo, were carried out by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc).
According to the State, the fraud occurred sometime in November 2015.
The team, connived and produced fake documents purporting that the trustee of the fund (Moyo) had authorised and approved the purchase of 10 heavy duty printers worth $95 800 when in actual fact no such authorisation and approval had been made.
The court heard that no printers were supplied to the ministry despite the suspects releasing the funds to Wisebone Trading, a company that specialises in agro-chemicals.
The suspects are also accused of unlawfully and corruptly processing personal loans amounting to $24 000.
Prosecutors say that, due to non-compliance with procedures, Zimdef suffered an actual prejudice of $122 800 with nothing recovered.
Again, between December 2015 and April 2016, Gandawa corruptly concealed his personal interest in various transactions when he engaged his company, Fuzzy Technologies, to supply the ministry with 170 computers worth $107 525.
Gandawa is a co-director of the company with his daughter Clarence.
He is also said to have supplied an additional 75 computers worth $42 250 and materials for use at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair worth $185 525. The Chronicle