Friday, 2 August 2019

MUPFUMIRA HAS TWO PASSPORTS, PROPERTIES IN THE UK


Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira is a flight risk as she is a holder of two passports and has properties in the United Kingdom, a High Court judge heard.

Mupfumira, who was arrested by the recently constituted Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, will spend the weekend in remand prison after Justice Erica Ndewere yesterday deferred her bail application to Monday.

Justice Ndewere postponed the matter to allow the State to call the investigating officer to give evidence during Mupfumira’s bail application.

Mupfumira is facing criminal abuse of public office charges amounting to $95 million. She was detained last week after the State invoked Section 32 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, which allows it to seek further detention of a suspect up to 21 days to conduct further investigations.

The State led by Mrs Sharon Fero challenged Mupfumira’s bail application arguing that there was already a certificate from the Prosecutor-General that bars any court from entertaining her bail application before the stipulated 21 days lapsed.

“An aggrieved part can only approach this court when an inferior court has made a determination in relation to bail. I submit that the magistrate did not entertain the issue of bail. He was never asked to make a determination. He did not refuse to grant the applicant bail, so, for that reason the appeal ought to be struck off the roll,” said Mrs Fero.  
She accused Mupfumira of trying to take her bail application to the High Court through the back door. “This court has no right to hear a case which is being brought via the back door,” she said.

Mupfumira, through her lawyer, Advocate Lewis Uriri, who is acting on the instructions of Mr Charles Chinyama, said they had a right to be heard, arguing that they were rightly before the court.

When Justice Ndewere ruled that the court had jurisdiction to hear Mupfumira’s bail application, the State then opposed granting bail arguing that investigations into the matter were still going-on.

Mrs Fero said Mupfumira had two passports and also had properties in the United Kingdom and was likely to abscond if granted bail. She said there was need for the investigating officer to testify to that effect. 

Adv Uriri denied that Mupfumira had properties in the United Kingdom, saying being a holder of two passports did not mean that she will not stand trial.

He said Mupfumira late last month travelled out of the country and returned with full knowledge of the allegations she is facing.

Justice Ndewere deferred the matter to Monday for continuation of the bail application and the investigating officer is expected to testify. Herald

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