By Tendai Rupapa
The trial of former Minister of Mines and Mining Development Walter Chidhakwa and his former permanent secretary Francis Gudyanga yesterday failed to kick-off again, and was moved to September 4.
Chidhakwa allegedly appointed Gudyanga as a lone board member at the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) well-knowing that the MMCZ Act required a minimum of six and a maximum of 10 board members.
Chidhakwa allegedly showed favour and appointed Gudyanga to act as the sole MMCZ board member until 2016 after dissolving the previous one in 2013.
Gudyanga claimed $36 350 as sitting fees when no board existed, the court heard.
The pair’s trial was initially slated for July 24 but could not commence after Chidhakwa’s lawyer, Advocate Sylvester Hashiti requested for further documents to prepare their defence.
The matter was then remanded to yesterday for trial commencement.
However, when Chidhakwa and Gudyanga appeared before regional magistrate Ms Estere Chivasa yesterday, they sought further postponement through Gudyanga’s lawyer Mr Tafadzwa Muvhami.
Mr Muvhami indicated to the court that Chidhakwa’s lawyer Adv Hashiti was engaged in another matter at the Constitutional Court.
He also submitted that the State had not served them with the relevant documents to come up with a sound defence hence the need for additional time.
When they appeared in court on July 24, Adv Hashiti requested for documents through the Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Mr Ray Ndhlukula showing correspondence between former President Robert Mugabe and Chidhakwa.
“These papers require Cabinet minutes that relate to several other State enterprises to prove that the stakeholders in those enterprises acted in the same manner as the accused persons are alleged to have acted,” he said.
Yesterday law officer Mr Clemence Chimbare with the assistance of Mr Zivanai Macharaga from the Special Presidential Anti-Corruption Unit, told the court that getting the requested documents was not a walk in the park.
“Your Worship, Cabinet minutes cannot be easily accessed. They are classified documents hence we have to make an application first to get them. We will provide the defence with the documents when they are availed,” he said.
Ms Chivasa remanded the matter to September 4. – The Herald