Fraud-accused Drax International country representative Delish Nguwaya was denied bail by a magistrate on Tuesday.
Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti remanded the 36-year-old to June 30, saying he is likely to commit similar offences if released, he could flee the country since he is facing serious charges and was likely to interfere with witnesses if released.
The magistrate also said the fraud case had attracted public outcry and people will lose confidence in the justice system if he is let out on bail although it is now a constitutional right.
Nguwaya, a close friend of the Mnangagwa family, on Saturday became the first person to be charged over a multi-million-dollar Covid-19 medical equipment supply scandal exposed by ZimLive.
The State alleges Nguwaya misled the Ministry of Health into believing that Drax International was based in Switzerland, yet it was only a consulting company with no experience in the manufacturing of medicines and based on the lies, the company won supply deals worth US$2 million and US$40 million, respectively.
Nguwaya is being represented by his lawyers, Admire Rubaya, Tafadzwa Hungwe, and Ashiel Mugiya and denies all the charges.
One of the lawyers, Rubaya said there was no fraud involved as the Ministry of Finance approved the deal. He said:
Drax never represented that they were manufacturers but said they could supply. The ministry asked for due diligence to be done by Treasury.
Treasury through permanent secretary (George) Guvamatanga gave the green light for NatPharm to deal with Drax. The agreement was entered into because Guvamatanga approved it…