Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Godfrey Gandawa on Friday accused the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) of harassment and tricking him into arrest.
Gandawa wants Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro to refer his case to the Constitutional Court and remove him from remand.
Through his defence counsel, Advocate Firoz Girach, Gandawa said his case was similar to that of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, whose arrest was suspended by the Concourt.
While on the witness stand, Gandawa challenged the validity of ZACC’s search warrant.
“The search warrant was executed and certain documents were taken,” he said. “I was called to ZACC offices. ZACC offices are not a police station; no one was dressed in police uniform and neither did anyone show me police identification.
“I was questioned by ZACC’s investigations officer for three hours and a video which I did not consent to, was being recorded.
“They did not caution me. Afterwards Sergeant Munyaradzi Chacha advised me that I was under arrest. That came as a surprise.”
Gandawa said this was similar to what happened to Prof Moyo.
“It was a fixed game,” he said. “Prof Moyo is not on remand and the Concourt heard these issues on an urgent basis.”
Chief law officer Mr Lovett Masuku did not oppose having the Concourt determine whether or not a police officer seconded to ZACC has the power to arrest.
But he said he was opposed to having the case of the search warrant being referred to the Concourt.
He was also opposed to having Gandawa removed from remand.
“The issue of the search warrant relates to proceedings during trial,” said Mr Masuku. “Trial will determine whether the evidence should be excluded or admitted.
“There is sufficient information that establishes a reasonable suspicion that the accused committed the offence. The accused should remain on remand pending his Concourt application.”
Gandawa is jointly charged with Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) finance director Nicholas Mapute. They are facing fraud and criminal abuse of duty charges.
It is alleged that $95 800 was transferred from zimdef to Wishbone Trading bank account through CABS. Gandawa received $20 000 through his personal Barclays Bank account after which he transferred $19 030 to HIB Rajput PL T/A Ace Cycles.
Gandawa then transferred $27 550 to SKM Motorcycles for 10 tri-cycles for Prof Moyo and the balance was withdrawn in cash.
It is alleged that $107 525 was transferred from zimdef to Fuzzy Technologies’ NMB Bank account, of which $5 745 was transferred to Pridham Investments for Gandawa’s personal furniture.
Gandawa also paid for 69 bicycles worth $7 260 for Prof Moyo.
He also transferred $12 900 to Wisebone Trading as capital to finance his personal business and the remainder was withdrawn in cash.
Article Source: The Herald