FORMER Cabinet Minister Prisca Mupfumira was on Friday issued with a warrant of arrest for skipping court even as the State had on May 13 consented to Mupfumira being temporarily granted her passport to travel to South Africa on Parliament business.
Mupfumira who is facing corruption related charges was granted leave after being cleared by Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi and President Emmerson Mnangagwa to travel to South Africa on Parliament business.
She is currently attending the Pan African Parliament (PAP) – running in Johannesburg between May 16 through June 02 – where Chief Fortune Charumbira is bidding to become president.
Mupfumira’s lawyer Admire Rubaya who had arrived at court to agree on a new trial date was taken aback when his client was slapped with a warrant of arrest.
He opposed the issuance of the warrant of arrest on the basis that the accused did not absent herself without the knowledge of the state which on May 13 consented to the release of her diplomatic passport on the back of a Cabinet authority.
Chief Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi who is presiding over the matter was absent from the court.
Magistrate Esther Chivase issued the warrant instead.
Chivasa agreed with the prosecution request that a warrant of arrest be issued after noting that Mapfumirea skipped her trial date without the leave of court, although the court had ordered the release of her diplomatic passport until June 9.
Mupfumira is being jointly charged with former Public Service Commission permanent secretary Ngoni Masoka on two counts of criminal abuse of office and concealing a transaction from a principal.
The trial proceedings in the Magistrates Court have commenced with four witnesses having testified. Several other witnesses are yet to testify.