Tuesday 22 March 2022


HARARE magistrate Ngoni Nduna yesterday ruled that former Public Service minister Priscah Mupfumira should be put to her defence in a case where she faces a charge of criminal abuse of office.

Mupfumira is accused of allegedly paying US$3,5 million to land developers Drawcard Enterprises towards construction of low-density housing units in Gweru without approval from the National Social Security Authority (Nssa) board.

Mupfumira’s co-accused Barnabas Matongera was, however, acquitted of the charges at the close of the State case yesterday.

Nduna said the evidence given by State witnesses warranted that Mupfumira be put to her defence in order for the court to make a ruling.

“The witnesses’ evidence if undisputed shows that there may be a case for accused one (Mupfumira) in the contracting of Drawcard,” Nduna said.

“The evidence of State witness at its best suggests that Mupfumira participated in events that led to the hand-picking of Drawcard Enterprises.

“A prima facie case has been established and it ought to be answered,” he said.

It is alleged that Mupfumira and Matongera gave specific instructions to Nssa to proceed with a housing project named Mzenya Off-Take housing scheme without complying with tender procedures and approval by the Nssa board.

Mupfumira said the charge was fatally defective and lacked essential elements, adding that the State failed to bring evidence in the form of minutes of board meetings. Nduna postponed the matter to April 25.

It is alleged that US$3,5 million was paid to Drawcard Enterprises out of the US$6,5 million that Nssa had committed towards construction of 1 000 low-cost houses in Gweru. Newsday





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