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Mupfumira seeks High Court intervention

By Yeukai Karengezeka

Former Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Priscah Mupfumira, who is facing three counts of criminal abuse of office, has filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court seeking a review of the dismissal of her application to have charges relating to the purchase of two cars set aside.

Prisca Mupfumira
Zimbabwe’s then Environment and Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira arrives at the Harare Magistrates Courts on July 26, 2019, as she faces seven corruption charges linked to the disappearance of $94 million from the country’s pension fund when she was welfare minister. – Mupfumira was detained on July 25, 2019 by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and is the first sitting minister of the ruling Zanu-PF party to be arrested for graft under the new administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa. (Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP)

She allegedly connived with Ngoni Masoka (former Secretary for Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare) to buy two cars she was not entitled to.

Mupfumira through her attorneys, Messrs Makwanya said the review is sought on the grounds that acting chief magistrate Mr Munamoto Mutevedzi’s ruling of dismissing an exception she had filed was grossly irregular and unprocedural.

Mupfumira argues that Mutevedzi did not have all the documents and therefore he could not make a valid decision. She said the ruling was made without reference to particulars which had been supplied by the prosecution but were not placed on the court’s record.

She continues to argue that her actions do not constitute an offence and raised a number of technical issues concerning amendments to the charges.

“It simply does not make sense for the prosecution to allege that Masoka was not entitled to undertake the procurement of the motor vehicle in issue. There can not be abuse of duty as a public officer when one acted within the scope of their duties. An essential element of the charge, according to the State papers is therefore missing,” she said.

On the second charge, that the transaction not supposedly disclosed to the principals, is not defined and is vague and confusing as the State failed to define the role of Central Mechanical Equipment Department, she argues.

In the third count, she said there were contradictions since it was alleged that Mupfumira authorised the expenditure yet within the outline it stated that Alexandria Bwerinofa authorised the same expenditure.

Masoka, Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi and the National Prosecuting Authority are cited as respondents in the matter.

The case is yet to be heard. The Herald