- ... faces three criminal abuse of office charges ... State does not oppose bail
By Court Reporter
IN A high profile corruption case that has put the country’s Judiciary system under the spotlight, Health and Child Care minister Obadiah Moyo, who is facing three counts of criminal abuse of office related to the procurement saga of medicines and medical sundries with DRAX International worth over US$50 million, has been granted $50 000 bail.
He becomes the second high ranking minister to be arrested on corruption related charges under Mnangagwa’s administration after former Public Service minister Prisca Mupfumira was nabbed on abuse of office charges involving US$90 million allegedly siphoned from the National Social Security Authority.
Moyo, who was represented by two lawyers James Mutizwa and George Chaga from Chihambakwe and Mutizwa Legal Practitioners, appeared before Harare Chief Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi.
The State which was represented by Clemence Chimbari did not oppose Moyo’s bail application pending the commencement of his trial.
As part of his bail conditions Moyo has been ordered to continue residing at his given address until the matter is finalised and to surrender title deeds for his stand in Eastlea measuring 2 075 square metres registered in his wife’s name Memory Moyo.
He is also to report three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday at Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and to surrender his passport as well as not to interfere with witnesses or investigations.
Moyo will be expected to return to court on July 31 for routine remand.
On count one, the State alleges that sometime in March last year, Moyo was approached by Dilesh Nguwaya, a country’s representative for Papi Pharma LLc, who presented a letter of interest to supply medicines and medical sundries under a US$15 million loan facility.
Under normal circumstances, Nguwaya was supposed to email the Minister’s Office with his proposal through his secretary.
Moyo after receiving the letter he called former permanent secretary for Health Ministry Rtd Major general Dr Gerald Gwinji and told him to process the paper work and award the tender to Papi Pharma LLC under a direct purchase.
It is further alleged that on March 20 last year Dr Gwinji wrote a letter to Treasury requesting that due diligence be undertaken on Papi Pharma LLC before it is contracted for business by the Government.
However, Moyo using his position and influence verbally directed Dr Gwinji to engage the company before a response on due diligence was received from Treasury.
Then on March 25, it is alleged that Finance Ministry permanent secretary George Guvamatanga requested to be furnished with comparative international prices for the various medicines outlined in the schedule by Papi Pharma LLC.
It is further alleged that the company was awarded the tender and used a direct purchase method without due diligence on May 29 last year.
On June 14, an adverse report was received from the secretary of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador James Manzou indicating that the company and kits director Klodian Allajbeu were linked to a terrorist group known as Gulen Movement.
On the second count, it is assumed that on August 22 last year, Dilesh Nguwaya this time visited Moyo with a legal representative of DRAX Consultant with US$20 million deal to supply medicines under Drax Consultant SAGL.
Moyo asked the former permanent secretary Dr Agnes Mahomva to write to the Treasury as per procedure but on September 25, Guvamatanga received a response from the office of the President that the company’s business activities could not be ascertained.
The following day, Moyo called Guvamatanga advising that the company had been cleared when it was not, but he refused.
Eventually, DRAX and NatPharm entered into a contract worth US$2 733 980 and the US$2 million was paid by reasury to the company’s bank account in Hungary.
It is alleged that Moyo prejudiced the State US$17 266 020.
On the third count the State alleges that Moyo again instructed Mahomva to urgently process the awarding of a tender to DRAX International LLC to provide medical sundries amounting to US$40 million to NatPharm.
The Treasury was not involved before the contracted was entered into and this is despite the fact that DRAX had failed to fully perform in its previous tender.
DRAX on May 8 2020 supplied Covid-19 test kits valued at US$987 720 which were procured after the contract was terminated.