Tourism and Hospitality minister Priscah Mupfumira, is expected to appear at the High Court today for her bail application following allegations of criminal abuse of office charges after she reportedly swindled the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) of over US$95 565 000,
The bail hearing had been set for yesterday but State representative,Sharon Fero told High Court judge, Justice Erica Ndewere that the State had been served with Mupfumira’s application late on Wednesday and as such she had not been accorded enough time to prepare to argue the matter.
Mupfumira, who is also Senator for Mashonaland West Province, was remanded in custody after Prosecutor General, Kumbirai Hodzi, issued a special certificate requesting Acting Chief Magistrate, Munamato Mutevedzi, to detain her for 21 days pending investigations into the matter.
Mupfumira is accused of having misappropriated the cash while she was Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare.
In her application filed at the High Court, through her lawyer, Mupfumira maintained that the evidence of the State against her was weak.
“The State case is fanciful, porous as has been shown above. The State failed to effectively reply to these criticisms, preferring to hide behind the lame excuse that these are triable issues to be determined at trial. With respect, the relative strengths of the State and Defence cases are a relevant consideration. The State’s refusal to relate thereto must be to the applicant’s (Mupfumira) benefit.
“In terms of the figures the offence might seem great but those figures were just thrown into the air with no relationship whatsoever with the applicant (Mupfumira). This could be a malicious astute way of sensitising the matter and emotionalise the public with a view to aggravate this bare allegation so that the court will be reluctant to grant her liberty which attempt has so far been successful in the lower court.”