Mthuli key witness in Jokonya trial


FINANCE minister Mthuli Ncube is billed to testify as one of the chief witnesses in Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) board chairperson Callisto Mazorodze Jokonya’s graft trial.

Jokonya is being charged with criminal abuse of office after allegedly renewing an employee’s contract without following due process.

When he appeared before Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya yesterday, prosecutor George Manokore sought a longer remand of the matter saying they had made progress and expected to commence trial.

“The docket was with the Prosecutor-General and the State was awaiting statements of Mthuli and Caleb Mucheche that have since been recorded,” Manokore said.

Jokonya then made an application for release of his passport to facilitate processing of his visa to travel to the United States on business.

He was ordered to return the passport by March 31 although the matter will be back in court on March 9.
Manokore alleged that between May 24 and June 27 last year, Jokonya allegedly showed favour to Happier Kuzvinzwa and caused renewal of his contract of employment as commissioner customs and excise which was expiring on May 31.

The court heard he took advantage of his position as board chairman of Zimra and wrote a letter to Ncube — who is the appointing authority — claiming he had made due consultations with all Zimra board members and they had agreed that Kuzvinzwa’s contract be renewed for another four year-term.
On May 28 and acting on the misrepresentation, Ncube approved the contract renewal.

Jokonya then instructed Zimra Commissioner-General Faith Mazani, to prepare a contract of employment for Kuzvinzwa.

Mazani allegedly refused to comply since there was no board resolution to that effect.
The court heard that having failed to convince Mazani, Jokonya got a contract of employment which he countersigned and was witnessed by external lawyers.

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