By A Correspondent- Former Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Minister Minister Supa Mandiwanzira has been acquitted of corruption charges.
Mandiwanzira was facing charges of criminal abuse of office after he allegedly awarded Megawatt Energy, a South African-based company consultancy, work to audit the US$218 954 843.00 deal between Net-One and Huawei Technologies.
The Zanu-PF Nyanga North legislator has been seeking acquittal on charges of corruption, arguing the indictment is defective.
Mandiwanzira is one of the several high-profile figures to have been charged in court for corruption in the Second Republic in which President Mnangagwa has vowed to fight graft and cronyism.
The former ICT Minister has for the past two years been contesting trial magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo’s ruling, dismissing his application for exception to charges of breaching procurement regulations.
Mandiwanzira, who was accused of corruptly engaging Megawatt for consultancy services rendered to NetOne Pvt Ltd, wanted the court to quash the charges and uphold his application for exception on the grounds that the charges were out-of-place because the telecommunications company was not a procuring entity.
In his application for exception to the charges, Mandiwanzira, who was being represented by Advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba averred that he acted in public interest and recovered US$30 million that Net-One had lost in the contract for network expansion and modernisation of equipment.
If convicted, Mandiwanzira would have faced a minimum prison term of 20 years, fine, or both.