By Nyore Madzianike
Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira will face two fresh charges after the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) reportedly established that she was involved in money laundering and fraudulently ordered companies dealing with the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) to transfer money into her personal bank account.
The court also heard that Mupfumira, who is facing seven counts of criminal abuse of office involving US$95 million, has properties in South Africa, Dubai and the United Kingdom.
Mupfumira will also be charged with fraud and money laundering with the State saying it had completed investigations into the fresh charges and will be ready to commence trial on the fresh charges once all due processes have been completed.
Mr Michael Reza, who is representing the State along with Mrs Sharon Fero, alleges that Mupfumira directed NSSA to deposit money into her CBZ personal account, leaving room that she could also have externalised some of the money.
“She is on remand on seven counts of criminal abuse of office and from that time investigations on three counts have been completed where trial can commence.
“The three charges are complete and the applicant will be made aware and information on the investigations papers have compelling reasons to deny her bail.
“She has a personal account 04422647590013 at CBZ that money was deposited into. This money came from companies applicant had directed NSSA to deal with.
“There is no reason why that US$9 182 was paid to her,” said Mr Reza while opposing bail for Mupfumira at the High Court.
The State further opposed to granting of Mupfumira bail alleging that she also ordered another US$13 600 to be transferred into her CBZ Chinhoyi account from Metbank.
It also alleged that Mupfumira filed medical reports with the State raising fears that once granted bail, she would abscond trial.
“I once handled another case where an accused said he was at stage four with cancer and wanted to go for medicals.
“That accused even asked the court to pray for him and he was granted bail and up to this day he was never seen.
“The applicant has mansions in South Africa, Dubai and the United Kingdom. I am sure they will tender title deeds for a house in Harare. That will be a donation as she will not feel anything,” said Mr Reza.
The State called the investigation officer into the matter, who is attached to ZACC, Sergeant Trust Chinembiri, who also revealed that they needed three more months to dig further into the case.
Sergeant Chinembiri also revealed that Mupfumira had planned to flee into South Africa, where she is believed to own a mansion in the leafy suburb of Sandton, on July 24 with the aid of her Chinese friends to avoid arrest.
He also said Mupfumira had two passports with a 10-year United Kingdom visa.
Mupfumira, through her lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri, who is acting on lawyer Charles Chinyama’s instruction, said one of the passports was for her official duty as a Cabinet minister.
He said his client had no intentions to avoid trial as she availed herself to the police despite being aware of the allegations she was facing.
Adv Uriri also argued that Mupfumira will not interfere with investigations and witnesses as the State’s fears will be cured by a compelling court order.
High Court judge justice Erica Ndewere reserved judgment in the matter.
Source : The Herald