State not ready: Supa Mandiwanzira

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THE trial of former ICT minister Supa Mandiwanzira again failed to get underway on Friday with new prosecutors coming in to handle the matter.
The Nyanga South legislator is facing allegations of criminal abuse of office, accused of seconding his personal assistant, Tawanda Chinembiri, to the board of the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) without due process and subsequent loss of $35 000 by Potraz through allowances paid to Chinembiri.

The matter has been postponed several times, with the trial failing to start and the court on Friday indicated that he would be removed from remand if it does not open on September 25.

On Friday, the State sought to have the matter postponed which Mandiwanzira — through his lawyer Fungai Chimwamurombe of Chimwamurombe Legal Practice — vehemently opposed.

This follows the failure by the State to amend charges against him as has been noted on his last appearance and he argued that he could not be remanded when there is no charge against him.

He argued that there is no law to place someone on remand where there is no charge.
He further argued that the State is not ready to proceed to trial as the record shows, with the matter being postponed several times and handled by various prosecutors.

“The State was given more than a month to come up with a new charge and the order was clear.
“It is clear the State is not ready and has never been ready to prosecute this case as the record will show. The accused has been on remand for two years now,” Chimwamurombe argued.

Prosecutor George Manokore told the court he had been assigned the case and needed time to go through the record.

Regional magistrate Bianca Makwande, however, granted the State’s application for a postponement.

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