A United States (US) court has exonerated Tawanda Wallen Mangere, a Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (Zimdef) contractor who was alleged to be a fugitive from justice in the US.
Bryant Brinson, a supervisor at the Fulton County Magistrates’ Court in Georgia told NewsDay that Mangere was never convicted of any crime in the United States.
Zimdef was last week accused of giving Tawanda Wallen Mangere of Tano Digital Solutions a huge information technology contract without doing background checks.
Mangere’s rivals claimed that he had served a jail term in the United States for fraud or that he had fled America fearing incarceration.
The US embassy in Harare linked NewsDay to Fulton County Magistrates’ Court in Georgia, where the Zimdef contractor was detained for about 90 minutes.
A case was opened against the Zimbabwean businessman on March 17, 2010, under case No 308457MC. Brinson said Mangere has no case to answer. He said:
_There is no criminal case against Mr Mangere. He has no pending legal issues. He is not a fugitive._
The report was echoed by Nicole Vaughn, director for customer service at the Fulton County District Attorney’s office who said:
_I found no open or pending cases with Mr Mangere’s name in our office._
According to a document received from Brinson, signed on Wednesday by Mary Conklin, a clerk at the Fulton court, Mangere was charged for deposit account fraud (felony), but the case was dismissed. Part of the deposition of the magistrates’ case read:
_The case was heard before a Fulton County Magistrate judge, who ordered that the charge against Wallen Mangere be dismissed on 04/14/2011_
Mangere dismissed the allegations against him as a smear campaign adding that it was natural for rivals to raise allegations against a competing business. He said:
_However, I am happy that the market is aware of the machinations and smear campaigns happening on the ground._
_In the spirit of national building, this is the time to embrace the ethos of the national development strategy (NDS1) and one of the 14 key a national priority is a digital economy._
He added that he was committed to working to ensure that Zimbabwe achieves the upper-middle-class status by 2030.
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