Thursday, 11 November 2021

YOU HAVE A CASE TO ANSWER : MAGISTRATE TELLS POLICE BOSS

A HARARE magistrate yesterday dismissed an application for discharge in a case where Police Commissioner Erasmus Makodza is facing a charge of criminal abuse of office for allegedly influencing the awarding of a contract to his girlfriend.

Makodza filed an application for discharge at the close of the State case arguing the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against him.

But magistrate Noel Mupeiwa, in his ruling, said the commissioner had a case to answer and should be put to his defence.

Mupeiwa postponed the matter to November 25 after Makodza, who was being represented by Tapiwa Makanza, roped in another lawyer who said he needed to study the record of proceedings.

“The State has proven that on the contract with Maonei Chapfudza (alleged girlfriend), Makodza represented Mashonaland East police province as is written in the contract. So Makodza was representing Zimbabwe Republic Police,” Mupeiwa ruled.

Mupeiwa said the first and second witnesses who disowned their statements were Makodza’s subordinates and that could have compromised their evidence.

He said Police Deputy Commissioner-General Lorraine Chipato had told the court that Makodza did not declare his interest to Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga.

The court also ruled that the State submitted evidence of financial transactions that showed Makodza was receiving money and other gifts from Jerel Investment, the company allegedly owned by his girlfriend, Chapfudza.

“Lastly, it has been shown that the accused was receiving monetary and other gifts from the company and as such, a prima facie case has been proven.”

Makodza allegedly presented Chapfudza to the police committee as a private investor without disclosing his personal relationship with her. The two have a child together, a fact that was not disputed in court.

Makodza is also accused of not disclosing that he was once a co-director of Jerel Investment and failure to disclose his interests to his principals.

“It is not in dispute that the accused is an employee of Zimbabwe Republic Police. It cannot be disputed that he corruptly entered into an agreement representing Mashonaland East. The memorandum of association was produced in court and he signed. But although the defence said he did not participate in the meeting, it is now the case for another day,” Mupeiwa ruled.

Allegations are that sometime in early 2019, Makodza, while he was Officer Commanding Mashonaland East province, imposed Chapfudza as a private investor ready to invest at the provincial police farm to his subordinate one Stephen Zengeya, who was Assistant Commissioner responsible for administration in Mashonaland East province at the time.

The State alleges that Makodza imposed Chapfudza knowing very well that she was not a private investor, but his lover. Newsday

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