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PROSECUTORS were last week ordered to furnish transport ministry permanent secretary, Munesushe Munodawafa, with a trial date by next month, failing which the official would be freed.
Munodawafa is charged with criminal abuse of office.
Magistrate, Elijah Makomo, last Wednesday said the State’s failure to name a trial date would result in charges against Munodawafa being withdrawn.
Makomo said it was reasonable for the permanent secretary to contest further remand as he has been subjected to this for too long.
“The problem with the court is that the state noted something about having a cabinet authority for investigating officers to be sent to South Africa and Botswana but no written evidence has been brought before the court to show what is outstanding,” said the magistrate.
He added: “The state is expected to give relevant reasons rather than bringing up a casual approach where one is just further remanded without any questions being put to them.
“Two months have lapsed since the last remand but nothing has materialised. As such a request of this nature on the part of the accused is justifiable.
“A period of one month will be enough polish up things. A trial date should be provided on December 3, failure to do that the accused will be removed from remand.”
Munodawafa is accused of illegally imposing Navistar Insurance brokers on Air Zimbabwe to cover for a plane that was damaged when it ran into wild pigs on the runway at Harare airport in November 2009.
Prosecutors allege that when the plane ran into the wild pigs it became a write off, and Air Zimbabwe was paid US$6,1m by its London re-insurer, Chartis Insurance Company.
The state alleges that Munodawafa was supposed to let the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) use its insurer, Marsh Insurance Brokers, instead of Navistar.
Munodawafa’s lawyer, Tafadzwa Hungwe, said Monday that it was clear the State does not have enough evidence against his client and should continue by way of summons instead of further remanding him.
The perm sec was placed on remand on April 29 this year with stringent reporting conditions to 26 August but the trial date could not be provided resulting in the matter being further postponed to 26 October. source-newzimbabwe