THE docket of former Mines secretary Francis Gudyanga, who is accused of defrauding the State of more than $1,6 million in deals with an Israeli company, Nikuv, was yesterday reportedly missing, forcing his trial to be deferred.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Gudyanga also former Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) board chairperson, allegedly caused the parastatal to pay $1 629 500 to Glammer (Pvt) Ltd, an Israeli company through a local agricultural company, Pedstock.
Pedstock is a sister company of Nikuv International Projects Limited, which was accused by the opposition parties of rigging the 2013 elections in favour of former President Robert Mugabe.
Last month, Gudyanga filed a notice before the court to have his case heard in camera, alleging that some of the contents of the matter are privileged information that he signed for on the Official Secrecy Act and must not be revealed in an open court.
During the initial stages of the case, the State also asked for a postponement, saying they want to get a statement from the Zimbabwe Republic Police, to where some of the funds were channelled.
But magistrate Hosea Mujaya at the time asked Gudyanga to file that application in open court to see if it qualifies to be heard under camera.
However, yesterday, Gudyanga failed to file his application after the docket reportedly went missing.
Gudyanga’s lawyer, Norman Mugiya confirmed to the court that his client was remanded to yesterday, but is not aware of the prosecutor handling the case.
“I have no clue which prosecutor is handling the matter. I have been making follow ups all morning, but to no avail. I understand the docket was seconded to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) after the last court appearance, but I consulted the district public prosecutor and the senior regional prosecutor. No one is aware of where the docket is,” Mugiya told court.
The arrangement then irked Mujaya, who then enquired the reason behind the missing docket. Mujaya also blasted National Prosecuting Authority and Zacc for not following the progress of their cases.
“This is not the first time we had to go through this especially with Zacc matters. Why is there no communication between the two? Right now, the defence is making an application for postponement on behalf of the State. We even warned witnesses to come to court on this date. The accused persons would have been arrested and placed on remand, but somehow prosecutors do not know about the progress on their cases. You have to be more organised as this causes more inconveniences,” Mujaya said.
Mujaya then postponed the matter to June 17 to allow the State to put their house in order.
It is the State’s case that during the period extending from September 2014 to December 2015, Gudyanga, acting in his capacity as Mines secretary and sometimes as MMCZ board chairperson when at that time no board was in existence, misrepresented to MMCZ that they pay $1 629 500 to Glammer (Pvt) Ltd, a foreign company through a local Agricultural Company Pedstock.
Gudyanga further misrepresented that the monies be accounted to as dividends due to the stakeholder, in this case the Government of Zimbabwe.
The State alleges MMCZ, acting on the accused, misrepresentation released the $1 629 500 to Pedstock when, in truth and fact, the money was not being paid to the government, but for a private arrangement.