By Desmond Chingarande
Deputy chief magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi yesterday dismissed an application for exception of charges filed by the former Tourism minister Priscah Mupfumira, who is facing a criminal abuse of office charge.
In dismissing the application, Mutevedzi said the State clearly framed the facts of the allegations as opposed to the defence’s claim.
Mupfumira’s trial was expected to resume yesterday. She is jointly charged with former permanent secretary Ngoni Masoka, who also had his application for exception dismissed.
The former minister had challenged the framing of the charge, arguing that it did not disclose an offence.
She said there were serious flaws in the manner in which the charge was couched.
Mupfumira said the charge did not set out what her duties were in respect of the acquisition of loans by the ministry and do not state what the permanent secretary’s duties were in respect of the same charge.
“There can be, therefore, no favouritism where the motor vehicle in issue was her entitlement in terms of her condition of service,” she submitted.
Mupfumira said no offence had been disclosed where an alleged misrepresentation is made to a third party, who is not the principal, and in this offence, the definition of principal does not include CMED.
Mupfumira said she wanted the charge against her to be quashed and set aside since the charge could not be sustained.
But the State, represented by Clement Chimbari, opposed the application, saying Mupfumira had a case to answer and the charge was clearly stated in the outline.
Chimbari said the insinuation by the defence that the charge was not clear was an attack to their work as the State.
He said the fact that the charge enabled them to craft a defence outline for the accused meant the charge was clearly crafted.
The prosecution said further particulars were supplied at their request, meaning they want to challenge the charge on facts displayed on the charge sheet.
Mupfumira also faces another charge of using ministry funds to sponsor people who attended her daughter’s wedding in Cape Town, South Africa.