Chief mag­is­trate ar­rested over Supa, Ka­sukuwere

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

into the al­leged mis­con­duct.

His de­ci­sion was said to have put the name of the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (JSC) and the mag­is­tracy into dis­re­pute.

Gu­va­mombe, who will be re­ceiv­ing half of his salary dur­ing his sus­pen­sion, is not al­lowed to visit his work­place dur­ing the three months which end on April 11.

JSC Act­ing Sec­re­tary Mr Wal­ter Chik­wana con­firmed the sus­pen­sion. “Yes, that is the po­si­tion, he has been sus­pended,” he said.

Al­le­ga­tions against Mr Gu­va­mombe arose on De­cem­ber 4 last year when he placed the two politi­cians on at­tach­ment at Harare mag­is­trates court.

The at­tach­ment pe­riod, ac­cord­ing to the of­fer, stretched from De­cem­ber 17, 2018 to Fe­bru­ary 15, 2019.

Gu­va­mombe, the JSC al­leged, was aware that the two were facing crim­i­nal charges at the same court.

He was the one who presided over Mandi­wanzira’s case of crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice, ac­cord­ing to the JSC.

To that end, the JSC re­solved to sus­pend him to pave way for in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the mat­ter.

Mandi­wanzira, who is Nyanga South Na­tional Assem­bly Mem­ber and for­mer Min­is­ter of In­for­ma­tion Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy and Cy­ber Se­cu­rity, is facing crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice charges at the Harare mag­is­trates court.

On his ini­tial ap­pear­ance, Mandi­wanzira was granted $2 000 bail by Gu­va­mombe, who or­dered him to pro­vide surety in the form of ti­tle deeds to the tune of $100 000, among other bail con­di­tions.

Mandi­wanzira is facing two counts of crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice as a pub­lic of­fi­cer dur­ing his ten­ure as a Cabi­net min­is­ter.

He al­legedly en­gaged the ser­vices of a South African com­pany called Me­gawatt Pri­vate Lim­ited at NetOne with­out go­ing to ten­der.

Me­gawatt was hired to re­view prices charged by a Chi­nese firm, Huawei Tech­nolo­gies, for the sup­ply of net­work ex­pan­sion and mod­erni­sa­tion equip­ment to NetOne.

Of the fees charged, Me­gawatt suc­cess­fully ne­go­ti­ated for a re­duc­tion of $30 mil­lion.

After the ne­go­ti­a­tions, Mandi­wanzira in­structed then NetOne chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mr Re­ward Kan­gai and some board mem­bers to pay Me­gawatt $4 mil­lion.

Ac­cord­ing to the State, $1 mil­lion was for con­sul­tancy, while $3 mil­lion was termed “suc­cess fee”.

NetOne de­clined to pay Me­gawatt, ar­gu­ing that ten­der pro­ce­dures had not been fol­lowed. It ar­gued that legally, it had no valid con­tract with Me­gawatt.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions es­tab­lished that Mandi­wanzira was a direc­tor in a com­pany called Blue Nightin­gale which had shares in Me­gawatt.

Mandi­wanzira is also be­ing ac­cused of ir­reg­u­larly ap­point­ing his personal as­sis­tant to be a board mem­ber for NetOne.

Ka­sukuwere is facing four counts of crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice em­a­nat­ing from the time he was Min­is­ter for Youth De­vel­op­ment, Indi­geni­sa­tion and Em­pow­er­ment, as well as Lo­cal Govern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing.

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