The Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), Martin Rushwaya on Wednesday risked overnight detention for contempt of court in the ongoing corruption trial of former Cabinet minister Prisca Mupfumira.
Rushwaya was summoned by the State to testify against Mupfumira, who is charged with fast-tracking a project to build low-income houses in Gweru through Drawcard Enterprises without seeking National Social Security Authority (NSSA) board approval and without going to tender.
NSSA falls under the purview of the Labour Ministry, which Mupfumira headed at the time the offence was allegedly committed.
Under cross-examination from Mupfumira’s lawyer Admire Rubaya, Rushwaya refused to explain what sections Mupfumira contravened in regards to the project.
Magistrate Ngoni Nduna then threatened to detain him for contempt of court. Warned the magistrate:
I am in charge here. We have remedy to that and I will hold you in contempt of court. I will detain you in custody and see you tomorrow when you have sobered up.
After the warning, Rushwaya confessed that he did not know of anything wrong that Mupfumira did which warranted her arrest on criminal charges.
Rushwaya told the court that he had no idea who reported Mupfumira to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to cause her arrest.
He also acknowledged that Mupfumira worked without a contract and had no written down duties and responsibilities.
Rushwaya said ministers were guided by a handbook, confirming Mupfumira’s testimony that she did not violate any specific duty.
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