FORMER Tourism minister, Priscah Mupfumira along with retired Public Service permanent secretary, Ngoni Masoka have accused the State of withholding documents, including the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) audit report, in a bid to scuttle their defence.

BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA

Appearing before Acting Chief Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi for trial over allegations of corruption, the two said they had failed to get State papers before commencement of trial, and were, therefore, left with no option but to make an application for further particulars before the court.

Mupfumira’s lawyer Thembinkosi Magwaliba told the court that on December 28, they filed a request for further particulars, but the State had failed to provide the documents.

Magwaliba also submitted that Mupfumira’s former lawyer Charles Chinyama had previously requested the report.

Mupfumira also wants the State to furnish her with witness statements taken from the officers in the Public Service ministry, the accountant general and the Secretary of the Office of the President and Cabinet.

Magwaliba also told the court that they are requesting a Cabinet ministers official handbook that specifies their duties and functions and a vehicle audit from 2015 to 2018.
Prosecutor Clemence Chimbare tried to push for the commencement of trial saying such particulars were provided when the charge is not clear or when some of the elements of the offence have been omitted.

However, Mutevedzi ruled in favour of Mupfumira, ordering the State to furnish the defence with the requested papers by January 1 to allow her to prepare for the trial.
Mutevedzi further remanded Mupfumira and Masoka to January 16 and 17 respectively for trial commencement.