BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

The trial of former Public Service minister Priscah Mupfumira, who is facing criminal abuse of office charges was again deferred yesterday after the State indicated that it was not ready for trial.

Mupfumira, who is being represented by Advocate Silvester Hashiti, appeared before deputy chief magistrate Chrispen Mberewere. George Manokore for the State told the court that he was advised by his supervisor that the matter was coming for a routine remand.

But Mberewere told Manokore that the trial was supposed to start yesterday.

Hashiti told the magistrate that he had prepared for the trial to resume yesterday, but was baffled by the prosecutor who came to court unprepared.

Mupfumira’s lawyer said he had filed a notice to the State on the last remand date that he would apply for refusal of further remand if the State keeps postponing the matter.

Mberewere then ordered Manokore to ask his supervisor Clement Chimbari for full information on the state of the matter so that he could make the right determination.

“I am not impressed by the State at all. How can the State come and ask for remand when it is clear on the record that the matter is coming for trial and a notice has been given to them that if the trial failed to start they will apply for refusal remand?,” Mberewere said.

Mberewere later postponed the matter to February 5 for trial and ordered Chimbari to appear in court on the day.

Mupfumira is facing seven counts of criminal abuse of office involving purchase of motor vehicles.