By Misheck Rusere – Harare magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe has remanded the Energy and Power development Minister belonging to the MDC party being led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in custody to the 28th of March when his trial is set to commence.
Mangoma who was picked yesterday morning by police in plain clothes for questioning concerning a fuel deal was on Friday formally charged with the Criminal abuse of office offence. He was however not asked to plead.
His allegations are that he awarded a tender to a South African company, NOOA Petroleum, to supply 5 million liters of fuel.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday threatened to pull out of the government condemning the arrest.
“His arrest is nothing but a continuation of the calculated assault on the people of Zimbabwe. The fact that a Cabinet minister can be arrested by a constable is a reflection of Zanu PF’s total disregard to the basic tenets of decency. His arrest is an assault on the GPA,” he said.
Mangoma was however advised to apply for bail at the High Court by the trial magistrate, Mishrod Guvamombe, as his offence is classified as a third schedule offence under which the magistrate’s court has no jurisdiction to preside over bail issues.
He was represented by Selby Hwacha of Dube, Manikai and Hwacha law firm while the state was represented by the chief law officer in the AG’s office Chris Mutangadura.
Minister Mangoma is expected to appear in court on 28 March of this year for his trial, while he will be allowed to apply for bail before the trial date at the High Court.
MDC officials, members and supporters continue to be on the receiving end of Zanu (PF) dictatorship with Nyanga North legislator Douglas Mwonzora, Rodger Tazviona MP for Zhombe and Speaker of parliament Lovemore Moyo, whose post was nullified yesterday having been the recent recipients.