Energy and Power Development Minister, Mr. Elton Mangoma failed to appear in court this Tuesday with prison officials citing transport challenges due to the unavailability of fuel at Harare Central Remand Prison.
The MDC-T Minister who is facing allegations of abuse of office under the State Procurement Procedures and the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act will spend another night in remand prison after prison officials indicated that there was no fuel to ferry prisoners to court.
Mr. Mangomaâ€™s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa challenged the High Court to read the riot act to the Zimbabwe Prison Service officials for failing to inform the Registrar of the High Court of the unavailability of fuel in time to make alternative transport arrangements in the interest of justice.
â€œIt is ironic that the Honourable Minister is facing charges on a matter in which he was fighting to procure fuel. His subordinates are all in here and there is apparently no fuel to bring him for trial.
â€œHonestly, the prison officials should be made to explain why they failed to inform the Registrar of this predicament in time. This is a clear case of contempt of court,â€ she said.
Standing in for the State, Chief Law Officer Chris Mutangadura consented to the bail application made by Beatrice Mtetwa on behalf of Mr. Mangoma agreeing that the Minister was not a flight risk, hence a good candidate for bail.
Mutangadura said: â€œThe State has got no grounds for opposing bail as the accused has proven not to be a flight risk. Therefore, he is a good candidate for bail.â€
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu who is presiding over the trial determined that bail ruling over the matter will be heard this Wednesday when the trial continues.