FORMER Tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira has, again, been denied bail following her appearance today before magistrate Elijah Makomo at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.
Prosecutor Michael Reza opposed the bail application, saying the former government minister was a flight risk, resulting in Mupfumira being further remanded to September 28.
The former minister was arrested on July 25 by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and is facing seven counts of criminal abuse of office in terms of s174 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23].
Mupfumira, who is facing criminal abuse of office charges involving US$95 million while she was Labour minister, made a fresh bail application last Friday following the expiry of her initial 21-day detention period.
She also made another application challenging her arrest and detention.
The court had remanded the case to Monday for ruling, but Mupfumira was further remanded to yesterday after the State indicated that the presiding magistrate had lost a relative.
Said the magistrate yesterday: “I would like to apologise first for the delay, but the circumstances are not of my making.
“I lost a close relative on Saturday and had to attend the funeral. I returned to Harare this morning (Tuesday) and only started writing the ruling after lunch. I have covered three quarters of it. If you may be patient with me; by tomorrow 8am I would have finished.”
The magistrate also indicated that there were other jurisprudence issues which both the State and defense had raised that required his attention, implying the need for more time.
With the consent of both the defense and State, the presiding officer then rolled over the matter to today where Mupfumira was finally denied bail on the ruling that she was a flight risk.
Charles Chinyama acted on behalf of Mupfumira