FORMER Zimbabwe Revenue Authority commissioner-general Gershem Pasi facing criminal abuse of office allegations has been temporarily freed by the court after it granted his application for refusal of further remand.
Pasi was accused of engaging a third party in the acquisition of an Information Management System (IMS), prejudicing Zimra of over US$11 million.
The State alleged that Zimra paid US$23 763 780,65 to a company, Righlux Services, instead of US$11 819 000 it should have paid had Pasi directly engaged the supplier.
The State argued that their investigations required the officers to travel to China which has stalled completion of the matter and applied for the matter to be postponed by a further two months.
“The docket is there, but there is only a part that is left for the investigating officer to travel to China,” prosecutor George Manokore told the court.
His lawyer Farai Mushoriwa last week challenged the postponement, arguing that Pasi has been on remand, coming to court for close to two years without a trial.
He said the State was not serious and the postponements had become persecution of his client.
“Accused was arrested on November 8, 2018 and 22 months later, there are no State papers. Postponements have been made with issues of extra territorial investigations being raised. The same excuse was raised in January last year that they wanted to go to Hongkong,” Mushoriwa told the court.
“The State does not have anything and they are not showing seriousness and this has become persecution,” he added.
Regional magistrate Esthere Chivasa granted the application and the State will proceed by way of summons.
The court noted that there has not been progress on the matter with Pasi consistently attending court without trial and the State indicating that they needed to travel to China.