Francis Gudyanga

The trial of former permanent secretary for Mines and Mining Development Ministry, Francis Gudyanga who is accused of defrauding the state of  more than US$1.6 million was this Monday (today) thrown into confusion as the docket was missing from the court.

Representing the state, Verenandah Munyoro requested for postponement of the matter to the 8th of July  citing the absence of the prosecutor handling the matter, Mr Thabani Mpofu who is said to be in Egypt for business.

Munyoro assured the court that trial will commence next month with or without Mpofu who is from the special anti-corruption unit which was established by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to improve efficiency in the fight against graft.

Opposing the application, Gudyanga’s defence lawyer Norman Mugiya argued that the state cannot seek further postponement of the case since his client has been on remand for more than one year.

Mugiya also claimed that the state was lying before the court that Mpofu is in Egypt, adding that he would seek the removal of his client from remand.

In response, magistrate Hosea Mujaya told defence lawyer Mugiya to file his application for refusal of further remand so that Mpofu responds upon his return.

The magistrate took a swipe to the special anti-corruption unit prosecutors accusing them of keeping the courts waiting due to their failure to communicate with colleagues from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).