Former Tourism Minister Priscah Mupfumira’s corruption and criminal abuse case for crimes allegedly committed during her time at the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare has opened and is expected to continue on May 26.
Mupfumira is accused of ordering the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) to fast track a house-building project in Gweru without NSSA board approval or following tender processes and the authority was prejudiced of US$6 500 000 in the process.
She claims the charges are politically motivated adding they originated during the summit of the Zanu PF factional fighting in 2017 to force her out of politics as she was seen as a strong supporter of then-Vice President Mnangagwa.
She told the court that the allegations were raised soon after attending the launch of the Muzenya Suburb Housing Scheme in Gweru, which was attended by then Vice President Mnangagwa. Her defence team said:
_These charges are malicious, frivolous and vexatious only meant to tarnish her image and deem her political career which was at its twilight._
_The investigation of the matter was compromised against her whilst shielding those that ought to have provided answers to whatever questions the
State has concerning the NSSA and Drawcard Enterprises (Pvt) Limited off-take agreement._
Mupfumira’s lawyers also argued that the housing project in question was commissioned by Mnangagwa adding that her attendance did not mean she had been involved in the processes leading to the alleged agreement between NSSA and Drawcard Enterprises (Pvt) Limited.
She also denied giving specific instructions to the NSSA management on the investments projects and noted that while the charge uses the term ‘NSSA Management’, it does not specify who exactly was allegedly given the alleged instructions.
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