Fraud accused ex-minister Mupfumira bounces back as Zanu PF Senator

By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent

FORMER Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Priscah Mupfumira, accused of bleeding over US$95 million from the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), has landed one of the four Zanu PF Senatorial posts following the party’s emphatic victory in Mashonaland West province.

She held the same post in the previous Parliament’s Upper House, but there were spirited attempts by her detractors to have her barred from contesting primaries to be on the party list.

Other Zanu PF Mashonaland West Senators are Politburo member and party spokesperson, Christopher Mutsvangwa, Lydia Tsomondo and James Gumbo, who makes another return.

Zanu PF won 16 parliamentary seats against the opposition Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC)’s six across the province.

As a result of the total votes cast, CCC was proportionally allocated two seats which will be occupied by Editor Matamisa and party interim provincial chairman, Ralph Magunje.

In August 2019, Mnangagwa fired Mupfumira then Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister from Cabinet facing a slew of criminal abuse charges involving US$95 million of NSSA funds.

She also faced two charges after the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) reportedly established she was involved in money laundering and fraudulently ordered companies, including Drawcard Enterprises (Private) Limited, dealing with NSSA to transfer money into her personal bank account.

The High Court judges of appeal, Justices Benjamin Chikowero and Rodgers Manyangadze earlier this year dismissed an appeal by the former cabinet minister, who was challenging the lower court’s decision to dismiss her application for discharge at the close of State’s case.

Her application for discharge was dismissed by Magistrate Ngoni Nduna.

Aggrieved by the decision, Mupfumira took the matter up to the High Court challenging Nduna’s decision.

But the High Court ruled there was no reason to interfere with the lower court’s ruling.

The lower court ruled Mupfumira had a case to answer and the matter is still pending.

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