Chief mag­is­trate ar­rested over Tyson

• . . . spends night at Rhodesville • . . . ex­pected in court today

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Tendai Ru­papa and Daniel Ne­mukuyu

CHIEF Mag­is­trate Mishrod Gu­va­mombe was yesterday ar­rested for al­leged crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice after he of­fered work-re­lated at­tach­ment to for­mer Cabi­net min­is­ters Saviour Ka­sukuwere and Supa Mandi­wandira at the Harare Mag­is­trates’ Courts where they are ap­pear­ing for al­leged cor­rup­tion.

He spent the night at Rhodesville Po­lice Sta­tion pend­ing his ap­pear­ance in court today.

Ka­sukuwere and Mandi­wanzira are law stu­dents at the Uni­ver­sity of Zim­babwe (UZ), but have pend­ing crim­i­nal charges be­fore the same court, rais­ing fears that their daily pres­ence in the court’s reg­istry de­part­ment could jeop­ar­dise their trial.

Po­lice spokesper­son Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba con­firmed that the al­le­ga­tions against Gu­va­mombe stemmed from his decision to of­fer work-re­lated at­tach­ment to Ka­sukuwere and Mandi­wanzira at the Harare Mag­is­trates’ Courts.

“I can con­firm that the ac­cused per­son, Mishrod Gu­va­mombe, was picked up today by the po­lice on al­le­ga­tions of crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice,” she said.

“The charges arose from the decision to of­fer work-re­lated at­tach­ment to two for­mer Cabi­net min­is­ters — Saviour Ka­sukuwere and Supa Mandi­wanzira — at the Harare Mag­is­trates’ Courts while the two have pend­ing crim­i­nal charges be­fore the same court.

“He is sched­uled to ap­pear in court to­mor­row (today).”

Gu­va­mombe was yesterday suspended from work for three months pend­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion 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 Gu­va­mombe arose on De­cem­ber 4 last year when he placed the two politi­cians on at­tach­ment at Harare Mag­is­trates’ Courts. 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.

Mishrod Gu­va­mombe

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.