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Ex-prisons official removed from remand

Sacked Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth Banda, who was facing a US$1,2 million fraud charge in a botched fuel donation scam has been removed from remand after long delays by the prosecution in bringing her to trial.

Former correctional services’ spokesperson, Elizabeth Banda

Banda (51) was charged along with Glow Trading company supervisor Raymond Mazodze (34) and the two were on remand on $1 800 bail each.

Through her lawyer Mr Tinofara Hove, Banda successfully applied for removal from remand before Harare magistrate Ms Barbara Mateko last week.

If the State now wants to proceed with the trial it will have to summon the two to court. Until then, they face no charge.

Mr Hove made the application for removal from remand arguing that his client could not remain on perpetual remand when the prosecution was not ready to start trial.

Prosecutor Ms Linda Gadzikwa did not oppose the application.

Banda and Mazodze were accused to trying to evade payment of duty when importing fuel from South Africa.

It was alleged that in August 2017, Mazodze, representing Glow Trading, which was purported to be registered in South Africa, approached ZPCS offering a donation of four million litres of diesel that was in South Africa.

ZPCS engaged the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for a duty free certificate which was handed over to Mazodze so that he could import the fuel.

The original allegations were that Mazodze and Banda drew a total of 1 130 500 litres of diesel from the Noczim Msasa depot through CMED, but only delivered 77 010 litres to the prisons and allegedly converted the rest to their own use.

In December 2017, Banda allegedly raised a fictitious acquittal in respect of the fuel, saying the four million litres of fuel were delivered to ZPCS.

The original allegations said as a result, Zimra was prejudiced of US$464 589 duty for 1,053 million litres of fuel and a potential prejudice of US$1 299 410 if the rest of the four million litres were collected, but not delivered to the prisons. The Herald