Shock as ex-health minister Moyo acquitted of Drax Covidgate scandal
By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
There was shock but no surprise on Thursday as former Health Minister Obadiah Moyo who was charged with corruption over illegally awarding a multi-million-dollar contract for medical equipment to a shadowy company Drax International was acquitted by the High Court.
Moyo who appeared before Justice Pasirayi Kwenda who found that the charges were not clear. The former cabinet minister was represented by advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara
In his application for exception, Moyo argued that in terms of section 179 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, the framing of the State outline did not disclose an offence.
Moyo through his lawyer added that the charges were not clear on how he influenced the awarding of the tender to Drax International when the tender procedures were done by the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe.
However, the state led by prosecutor Garudzo Ziyadhuma admitted that the charges were not clear and did not disclose how he influenced a tender procedure.
Before Moyo’s arrest last year, Drax International representative Delish Nguwaya was also arrested on charges of lying to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government that his company was a medical firm in a bid to supply the government with medical supplies.
He was freed on ZWL $50 000 bail.
At the centre of the Drax corruption scandal was Mnangagwa’s wife Auxillia and son Collins who were fingered as the alleged beneficiaries.
The leaked letters noted that a company called Drax Consult and Drax International were first awarded a contract worth USD$ 20 million to supply medical equipment and medicines and another USD$ 40 million for the supply of Covid-19 medicine and personal protective equipment.
While Moyo was the only Cabinet minister sacrificed, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube and his Permanent Secretary George Guvamatanga have also been accused of involvement in the scandal because they approved the payments.
Hopewell Chin’ono, a prominent Investigative journalist who played a crucial role in exposing this matter was arrested last year and charged with incitement to violence.
Commenting on the latest development, Chin’ono said:
“Obadiah Moyo’s corruption charges have been quashed by the high Court. Don’t blame the judge, it is not his fault. As I told you when Obadiah Moyo was charged, the case by the State was made deliberately weak so that it failed. Even a 1st year law student would have told you that. ” Nehanda Radio