Monday, 5 November 2018

GANDAWA GOES ON THE RUN

FORMER Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa was yesterday issued with an arrest warrant after he failed to turn up for his corruption trial over abuse of Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) funds.

Gandawa, who is facing 14 counts of fraud and criminal abuse of office was, was expected to appear before High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi for trial.

His name was called three times to no avail. Prosecuting, Mr Clement Chimbari applied for Gandawa’s arrest, prompting the judge to issue a non-bailable arrest warrant.


Defence lawyer Mr Bernard Chidziva indicated to the judge that he last saw his client before the July 30 elections. Gandawa was indicted for trial at the High Court in April this year.

He was arrested last year together Zimdef principal director of finance, Nicholas Mapute, for allegedly misappropriating over $400 000 in Zimdef funds.

The arrests, which also affected then higher education minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, were carried out by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

The indictment indicates the fraud occurred sometime in November 2015.
Zimdef chief executive officer Fredrick Mandizvidza, in alleged connivance with Gandawa and Mapute, reportedly produced fake documents purporting that the trustee of the fund had authorised and approved the purchase of 10 heavy-duty printers worth $95 800 when no such authority had been given.

It is said no printers were supplied to the ministry despite the suspects releasing the funds to Wisebone Trading, a company that specialises in agro-chemicals.

The suspects are also accused of corruptly processing personal loans amounting to $24 000. It is further alleged that due to non-compliance with procedures, Zimdef suffered an actual prejudice of $122 800 with nothing recovered.

However, criminal charges against Mandizvidza were dropped and he will now testify against Gandawa and two other officials.

The prosecution withdrew charges against Mandizvidza because the evidence gathered did not link him to the fraud and criminal abuse of office.

Instead, the prosecution felt he would be of much assistance to the court as a prosecution witness than as an accused person.

In another count, stretching from December 2015 and April last year, Gandawa allegedly corruptly concealed his personal interest in various transactions when he engaged his company, Fuzzy Technologies, to supply the ministry with 170 computers worth $107 525.

Gandawa is alleged to be a co-director of the company with his daughter, Clarence.
The former deputy minister is also said to have supplied an additional 75 computers worth $42 250 and materials for use at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair worth $185 525. Herald

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