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Court judge acquits Minister Mangoma
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
June 28, 2011
High Court Judge
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu on Tuesday 28 June 2011 acquitted Energy
and Power Development Minister and Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) Deputy Treasurer Hon. Elton Mangoma who had been on trial
for allegedly flouting tender procedures in the procurement of fuel.
discharged Hon. Mangoma at the close of the State case after the
Minister's lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa and Selby Hwacha, who are
members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights applied for discharge
at the close of the State case. The State had opposed the defence
lawyers' application and had applied to put Hon. Mangoma to
In a ruling
which was delivered in Court A at the High Court on Tuesday afternoon,
Justice Bhunu ruled that Chris Mutangadura, the chief law officer
in the Attorney General's Office failed at the close of the
State case to establish a prima facie case against Hon. Mangoma.
said the State's own witnesses, including Justin Mupamhanga,
the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development
had vindicated Hon. Mangoma and that the MDC Deputy Treasurer had
acted in the interests of the country by sourcing fuel at a time
when supplies had dried up.
had been on trial since 28 March 2011 for allegedly contravening
section 174 (1) (a) as read with Section 174 (2) of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23 or alternatively
contravening Section 30 of the Procurement Act as read with Section
5 (4) (a) (iii) and Section 35 of the Procurement Regulations (statutory
instrument 171 of 2002).
In his defence,
the Energy and Power Development Minister said his
arrest was a crude attempt to scuttle the criminal prosecution
of senior executives at the State-run fuel procurement company,
the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim) which he had already
initiated with the Attorney General's Office. Hon. Mangoma
said his arrest and detention was meant to afford the perpetrators
of fraud at Noczim "free reign to destroy the available evidence".
woes are not yet over as he will stand
trial on 18 July 2011 for allegedly contravening Section 174
(1) (a) as read with Section 174 (2) of the Criminal Law Codification
and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
The State alleges
that Hon. Mangoma unlawfully and intentionally abused his public
office for the purpose of showing disfavor to some local and South
African companies, which had participated in a tender process for
the supply and delivery of prepayment revenue management system
meters and associated equipment.
allege that he unlawfully and intentionally abused his public office
for the purpose of showing disfavor to some local and South African
companies, which had participated in a tender for the supply and
delivery of prepayment revenue management system meters and associated
The State alleges
that the Energy and Power Development Minister unlawfully instructed
ZESA Holdings board chairperson Dr Noah Madziva, former ZESA chief
executive officer, Benjamin Rafemoyo and the State Procurement Board
to stop processing the tender for the supply of prepaid electricity
meters after adjudication thereby effectively cancelling a tender
awaiting announcement of the winner.
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