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Supa Mandiwanzira blasts State's inefficiency

by Staff reporter
11 Dec 2018 at 15:31hrs | Views
Former Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira has expressed his displeasure over the State's ''inefficiency'' in handling his case after he was served with State papers minutes before his trial was meant to commence.

Mandiwanzira is facing allegations of engaging a South African company, Megawatt to do consultancy work for NetOne without following procedure and of appointing his personal assistant to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Potraz) board.

Through his lawyer Brian Hungwe, Mandiwanzira objected to trial commencement, citing the State's failure to furnish him with court papers on time.

"The State has been very inefficient. Why should the State's inefficiency prejudice the accused person? There are a number of witnesses we need to engage and most of them are outside the country," Hungwe submitted.

Hungwe suggested that the trial be rolled to January 28, 2019 so that he will be able to peruse the papers and contact his witnesses.

On his initial appearance, Mandiwanzira was granted a trial date, with the State indicating he was going to be served with papers within a week.

However, Hungwe said the papers were never availed.

The Nyanga South legislator appeared in court again on November 20 for his routine remand and the State promised to furnish him the papers within a few days.

Hungwe said: "I don't know what a few days meant. For the record we only got these papers today, to be precise an hour ago."

In his response, prosecutor Michael Chakandida confirmed that he served the accused with the papers minutes before trial, indicating that the circumstances were beyond his control.

"The accused was indeed furnished with State papers this morning (yesterday) because of circumstances that were beyond my control as a trial prosecutor.

"I was only furnished with the docket on December 7 in the afternoon."

Chakandida, however, opposed Mandiwanzira's application to remand the matter to January 2019, suggesting that trial should be dealt with within a reasonable time.

Harare regional magistrate Francis Mapfumo ruled that there is no way trial would commence yesterday as Mandiwanzira was served with papers the very day.

Mapfumo said the defence counsel needs time to go through the court papers to adequately prepare the accused person's defence outline.

Source - dailynews