Finance Ministry officials seek acquittal

Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
Ministry of Finance and Economic Development officials accused of conniving to swindle the ministry of $240 000 purporting that it was for the Harare-Masvingo Road construction, are seeking discharge at the close of State’s case. The prosecutor Mr Norman Tsarwe closed the State’s case after calling six witnesses.

The accused are Tawanda Mawundike (30), Brian Nyazamba (34), Shorai Eshille Kamuto (28), Gift Joyful Makura (43) and Gift Gumbira (58) from Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and Macdonald Matowa (33), Malvin Mutsvangiri (37), Winnet Kunonga (36) from the Ministry of Transport Infrastructural Development. They gave notice to apply for discharge at the close of State’s case.

Their lawyers Mr Admire Rubaya and Ms Rekai Maposa undertook to file their application on Friday. Mr Tsarwe will respond on October 14 and the court will make its ruling on October 19.

It is alleged that the accused fraudulently released $240 000 to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development through the general ledger system as payment for the road projects offered by Stanax Enterprises. Mr Tsarwe alleged that on June 10 last year Mawundike, who is an economist allegedly logged into the Public Finance Management System (PFMS) using his EC number 4004285H.

He fraudulently released $240 000 to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development through the general ledger system. The transaction was without approval from director of Public Sector Investment Programme Mr Fidelis Ngorora and Phiri who is responsible for releasing funds to the transport ministry.

To cover up his tracks Mawundike misrepresented that the funds were released in 2013. The offence was unearthed on June 12 after follow ups were made by accountant general’s department on the progress of $240 800 payments to CMED for purchase of vehicles for the 34th SADC summit.