By Tarisai Machakaire
Proceedings in ex-Cabinet minister Supa Mandiwanzira’s graft case have been stayed by the High Court.
This was after Mandiwanzira lodged an appeal for review of a ruling in which his application for exception was thrown out by Harare regional magistrate Elijah Makomo.
High Court judge Esther Muremba granted the stay of proceedings in the lower courts.
Mandiwanzira, who is accused of corruptly engaging Megawatt for consultancy services rendered to NetOne Pvt Ltd had argued before Makomo that the charges were misplaced because the telecommunications company was not a procuring entity.
However, Makomo ruled Mandiwanzira in his capacity as minister then could not have acted on behalf of NetOne because it had its own directors and employees prompting Mandiwanzira to approach the High Court for review.
“The charge and outline are clear that the issue is not about proceeding to tender but that as minister the accused person handpicked Megawatt.
According to papers it was not NetOne but the minister,” Makomo ruled.
“…by acting in that manner the minister became a procuring entity and was bound by procurement regulations.
“The accused person argued that the services had been proffered on pro bono basis but it was only pro bono on paper because payment was later demanded.”
Mandiwanzira had argued that Statutory Instrument 160/2012 removed NetOne from the list of public enterprises that were deemed to be procuring entities. DailyNews