HARARE – A Harare magistrate yesterday slammed the State for taking a lackadaisical approach in dealing with a criminal abuse of duty case involving the permanent secretary in the ministry of Transport Munesushe Munodawafa — before striking the matter from remand.
Munodawafa appeared before Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya represented by Jonathan Samukange.
Prosecutor Ephraim Zinyandu had applied for a further postponement of the case to a later date to get instructions from the Prosecutor-General’s office on how best to proceed with the case.
However, Mujaya dismissed the application saying: “The State will not be prejudiced if they are to proceed by way of summons as the accused person holds a high office and has demonstrated that he is not a flight risk.
“The record shows that he applied for his passport twice and would return it on the agreed dates.”
According to the State, Munodawafa illegally appointed Navistar Insurance brokers to Air Zimbabwe to cover for a plane that was damaged when it ran into wild pigs on the runway in November 2009.
The court heard that Munodawafa was supposed to let the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) use its insurer Marsh Insurance brokers instead of Navistar.
When the plane ran into the pigs, it became a write-off, and Air Zimbabwe was paid $6 100 000 by its London re-insurer, Chartis Insurance Company.
On April 23, 2010, Chartis Insurance Company made a counter claim for the same amount against CAAZ for their negligence as they allegedly failed to ensure that the runway was safe.
When CAAZ approached Munodawafa’s office for assistance he “illegally” appointed Navistar, instead of Marsh, to go to London and negotiate between CAAZ and Chartis, without going to tender.
Despite knowing that CAAZ’s insurance broker was Marsh Insurance brokers, Munodawafa allegedly wrote to the then Air Zimbabwe accounting officer Innocent Mavhunga and directed him to pay Navistar $305 000 instead.