Mandiwanzira takes Prosecutor-General head on
FORMER Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Minister Supa Mandiwanzira (pictured) has teared into Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi’s application to rescind his recent High Court acquittal and has accused the PG of dishonesty, lying, incompetence and desperation.
Mandiwanzira was acquitted in a case where he was accused of engaging without going to tender, a South African firm, Megawatt Energy Pvt Ltd, to probe an overpriced Huawei and NetOne US$218 million deal.
But Mandiwanzira argued there was nothing criminal in his conduct done with the full knowledge and blessings of his principals, adding that his action led to the recovery of more than US$30 million that had been inflated in the deal signed between Huawei and NetOne represented by former chief executive officer, Reward Kangai.
In his opposing affidavit filed last Frida, Mandiwanzira said: “I am clear in my conscience that I am not guilty of any offence. Although not directly relevant at this stage I confirm that it is simply false that I caused NetOne (Private) limited any potential or actual prejudice of $4 million at all.”
“No money was ever paid out of NetOne nor was there an obligation for NetOne to pay out any money. What is true and undisputable is that my efforts, sanctioned by my principals led to the recovery of over US$30 million for NetOne (Private) Limited. It was my duty and job as a Minister to do so,” Mandiwanzira said.
The former minister and current Nyanga South member of Parliament accused Hodzi of deliberately trying to distract the court and the public from his own inefficiency.
He said the PG owed him, his lawyers and the High Court of Zimbabwe an apology for alleging the High Court decision to quash charges against him had been obtained erroneously and corruptly.
“The casual explanation for the default tendered by Mr Kumbirai Hodzi is not serious nor is it credible nor reasonable,” Mandiwanzira said.
“For all his vaunted claims that he is the only person constitutionally empowered to preside and supervise the conduct of all criminal cases in Zimbabwe, he has basically come to court to accuse someone else and others of not doing his own work as an excuse for rescission.”
Mandiwanzira said Hodzi had no one but himself to fault on the matter and his attempts to distance himself from the process that ultimately led to his acquittal were malicious and just a desperate attempt to manage unknown interests and pressures.
“His explanation is, having been properly served with both the main application for review in case number HC 1761/19 and urgent chamber application in HC 1800/19, he simply handed these important and urgent applications to his trusted or chosen law officer, Mr Edmore Nyazamba.
“He then posits that he then walked away from both these important matters and went into some manner of deep sleep until the media woke him up to the fact that judgement had been made in my favour.”
Hodzi has accused Nyazamba of failing to oppose Mandiwanzira’s application for review when he was instructed to do so.
“Mr Hodzi’s aforementioned explanation is effectively that he took leave of his supervisory constitutional duties over this matter for the whole period from March 7, 2019 and when he says the applications were served on him, and only woke up almost one month later, on the 4th of April 2019 when he read the (news) papers.”
“He claims and expects the honourable court to believe and condone that it was during his siesta from important state duties that his trusted lieutenant Mr Nyazamba allegedly disregarded his instructions to oppose both applications and decided to consent to the order suspending trial pending review, to seek abridged timelines to the main review and subsequently not to contest the review application which is the subject of this application,” the former broadcaster said.
He said Hodzi’s case was not adding up and for a person of his position, qualification and experience, there were basic elementary issues he was supposed to be alive to.
“Firstly even I as a law student know that where a party intends to oppose an urgent or any other application in the High Court, he or she must file an opposing affidavit.
“For his legal qualifications, experience and the high legal office he occupies, Mr Hodzi cannot pretend not to know this elementary procedure. To do so would embarrass himself and the office of the Prosecutor General,” he said.
“I do not understand how a topmost law officer in the country, who is experienced and knows the procedures can receive an urgent application, not file anything in opposition and still find it within him to claim (and expect to be believed) that he thought he had opposed the application. How was Mr Nyazamba to oppose the urgent application without Mr Hodzi’s opposing affidavits.”
Mandiwanzira said there was overwhelming evidence that Mr Hodzi did not instruct Nyazamba to oppose the application as he was now claiming.
“I am advised and believe that where an urgent chamber application is opposed, and the Judge grants it, the Judge issues a provisional order. A provisional order, where granted obliges Respondent to file opposing affidavits within 10 days. The urgent application in this matter was granted on the 8th of March 2019 and it received media coverage.
“The fact that Mr Hodzi did not take issue with at that stage or ever within the 10 days to oppose it confirms that Mr Hodzi did not instruct Mr Nyazamba to oppose the urgent application as he now claims.”
“If Mr Nyazamba did not follow instructions then, why was he not disciplined?”
He said it was proper for the court to be furnished with an affidavit by Nyazamba and his confidential report he allegedly placed with the Prosecutor General.
“The point in my averments thus far is that Mr Hodzi’s bare, bold and unsubstantiated attempts to posture that Mr Nyazamba acted unilaterally or without his authority cannot bear scrutiny.”
He said there were transparency gaps and unreasonableness in Hodzi’s explanations that were contradictory and not making sense.
Mandiwanzira challenged Hodzi to apologise and retract his well publicised allegations that corruption, lies and underhand dealings played out in the road to Mandiwanzira’s aqcuital.
“The article is defamatory to the Honorable Judges who dealt with this matter and of my legal practitioners and I. It insults and demeans the processes of the honorable court.
“I consider it particularly disrespectful and arrogant that Mr Hodzi has not taken the opportunity of this application to humble himself and apologise or retract or even correct the reckless statements emanating from his office falsely accusing Judges and officers of this honourable court of corruption when he knew he had never opposed the review and the chamber applications.”
“Instead of apologising for making these false allegations, Mr Hodzi maintains an arrogant and capricious attitude, demeaning the processes and importance of this honourable court and its officers.” — ZOOMZimbabwe