Higher and Tertiary Education Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo failed to appear in the Harare Magistrate’s Court on Friday to answer to charges of corruption.
Prosecutor Lovett Masuku registered his displeasure at the failure by Moyo, who is facing charges of defrauding the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF) of more than US$400,000.
Masuku proposed that the court issue a warrant of arrest for Moyo, who is reported to have filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court challenging his arrest and appearance at the smaller court.
Masuku told the court that Moyo had breached an indemnity agreement he signed when the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) released him into the custody of his lawyers after his arrest on 2 November.
“Accused number two was arrested on 2 November and there was an undertaking that he should appear in court today, within the 48 hours stipulated by the Constitution. The accused defaulted and I wish to apply for a warrant of arrest,” says Masuku.
“Accused disregarded the promise he made knowing full well that he was under arrest, though in the custody of his legal practitioners.”
Masuku says the indemnity agreement signed by Moyo stated that failure to appear in court would lead to his arrest and detention.
Moyo’s lawyer, Terrence Hussein, refused to comment on the matter.
Moyo is being jointly charged with his Deputy, Godfrey Gandawa and the Principal Director of Finance for ZIMDEF, Nicholas Makute who were remanded in custody to Saturday for their bail ruling.
The two appeared before Magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe for their initial bail hearing on Friday.
The State was opposed to bail for Gandawa, while bail for Makute was not being opposed.
On Gandawa the State argued that he was facing serious charges and also that if admitted to bail he would interfere with witnesses, most of whom were his subordinates.
The State had to call in ZACC Chief Investigations Officer, Lovemore Findi, to give evidence to buttress their argument to deny him bail.
Masuku, however, says should the court consider granting him bail it should be with stringent conditions including a surety of property worth no less than US$300,000 and should report three times a week at Highlands police station and surrendering his travel documents among other stringent conditions.
However, Bernard Chidziva, representing Gandawa, says his client had known of his investigation by ZACC in July 2016 but had not interfered with any of his subordinates or threatened them in any manner.
He says Gandawa was a proper candidate for bail as he had shown cooperation during investigations, handing himself over to the anti-graft commission and had shown his willingness to abide by the law.
The Prosecutor, although he did not oppose bail for Makute, advocated for stringent bail conditions, which included a US$5,000 bail and US$10,000 dollars surety.
He also proposed that he surrender his passport and report at the Zimbabwe Republic Police Southerton every Friday between 6AM and 6PM, reside at his given address and not interfere with state witnesses.
Chikwekwe postponed the matter to Saturday for bail ruling.