Fidelis Munyoro, Harare Bureau
Prosecutor-General Mr Kumbirai Hodzi has turned the sword on the prosecutor he assigned to deal with the criminal abuse case of former Minister Supa Mandiwanzira and ordered investigations into his alleged flagrant misconduct.
The prosecutor Mr Edmore Nyazamba is accused of gross misconduct after he allegedly failed to obey instructions to file response opposing Mr Mandiwanzira’s application for review.
Mr Mandiwanzira obtained a default judgment against the prosecution in the case in which, he sought to quash the charges of corruption involving the $218 million consultancy deal signed between NetOne and South African-based Megawatt Energy.
Justice Mathonsi granted the application and acquitted Mr Mandiwanzira of the charge.
In a statement yesterday, Mr Hodzi said the State did not file a response to Mr Mandiwanzira’s application for review and has since ordered investigations into Mr Nyazamba’s conduct.
He said Mr Nyazamba did not file a response within the stipulated time frame as duly instructed and that his office had activated internal disciplinary processes.
“I have ordered a thorough investigation into the matter, particularly the conduct of the prosecutor who was assigned to handle the matter,” he said.
“It is completely unacceptable for any prosecutor to fail to abide by court rules or court procedures. This constitutes gross misconduct and the prosecutor concerned has been ordered to stop all prosecutorial duties forthwith, until the investigations into his conduct have been finalised.
“We will leave no stone unturned as we interrogate the facts at hand, to see why procedures and due process were flouted by our own prosecutor. We have also reported the matter to the police.”
Mr Hodzi said when he perused the record of proceedings he noted with dismay that the State did not file a response to the matter.
The matter, he said was then heard as an unopposed which was not supposed to be the case, as the State was opposed to the matter. “The matter was not decided on merits and this gives us room to appeal. We are preparing our notice of appeal which will be filed next week,” he said.
Mr Hodzi also said he and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were not served with the notice of set-down in the review hearing of Mr Madiwanzira’s case.
He reassured the public that his office and the NPA take all court appearances seriously, particularly in the superior courts saying the prosecution of high profile anti-corruption matters remains a top priority.
“In that regard, I have put in place stringent guidelines and measures to ensure that all high profile anti-corruption matters are handled with speed and efficiency.
“These are handled by a minimum of three highly experienced public prosecutors, and of these three, one prosecutor is a member of the elite Specialised Anti-Corruption Unit.”