By Jane Mlambo| Harare Magistrate Ngoni Nduna has remanded a Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) appeared iZACC Officer Smart Marlon Mandofa to Monday 13 March 2023 following his arrest on criminal abuse of office charges.
Mandofa was arrested on Friday following a complaint filed by businessman Ofer Sivan.
According to the state’s case, Sivan reported a serious case of fraud, tax evasion and externalisation against his co-directors Gilad Shabtai and Munyaradzi Gonyora.
The accused person together with his two accomplices who have not been arrested yet allegedly turned a blind eye on Sivan’s report despite the High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi having ordered Shabtai and Gonyora to return the money to Adlecraft Investments.
Further, the state alleges that Mandofa and his accomplices went on to arrest Sivan based on an anonymous report of forgery while ignoring a serious case of fraud involving Shabtai and Gonyora.
After arresting Sivan, Mandofa and his accomplices allegedly disregarded the need to obtain requested sample signatures directly from subjects as per the norm.
In addition, Mandofa was shown a warrant of arrest for Shabtai but did not act on it.
“Further investigations of the matter have established that from the initial stage of reporting the case up until the matter was referred for prosecution, Gilad Shabtai never presented himself physically to the accused person, an act facilitated by the three accused persons to ensure Gilad Shabtai was not arrested,” reads part of the State outline.
Mandofa denied the allegations of associating with Gilad Shabtai who was on a warrant and his lawyers argued that Shabtai is not a fugitive from justice as he was even given security assurance by the acting prosecutor general.
“I deny the charges in their entirety. This is a ploy by Ofer Sivan to interfere with State witnesses and investigations into his fraud matters that have already been charged. I never abused my duty as a public officer in the manner alleged or at all. I am shocked that I am alleged to have unlawfully associated with a complainant who was on a warrant of arrest.
Magistrate Nduna moved the proceedings to Monday, after the State Prosecutor recused herself due to illness.
Prosecutor Michael Reza who appeared briefly on behalf of the state said he was conflicted as he was in good books with the accused person.
Reza initially apologised for being improperly dressed for court, wearing a United Methodist Church t-shirt and khaki pants.
Mandofa’s lawyers had challenged his incarceration saying there are no grounds to warrant the detention.
They questioned why the State did not make arrangements for another prosecutor when they had been made aware of the prosecutor’s illness in the morning.