By HourlyHits Reporter
DEPUTY Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Martin Rushwaya risked spending a night in prison for contempt of court after he defied court orders to avoid evading answering questions directed to him by lawyer Admire Rubaya during the on-going former Cabinet Minister Prisca Mupfumira on corruption related charges.
Rushwaya was called by the State to testify in a corruption case against former minister Prisca Mupfumira accused of fast tracking an agreement for construction of low income houses between NSSA and Drawcard Enterprises in Gweru.
Coming in as the complainant on behalf of government, Rushwaya was put to test through cross examination by lawyer Rubaya and was cornered to explain what Mupfumira contravened in regards to the said deal.
“What did she do, that you know, in contravening her duties in regard to the Muzenya or Drawcard Investments project,” asked Rubaya.
Rushwaya was at pains to point out exactly what Mupfumira did, became evasive on numerous times to answer Rubaya’s question.
His conduct prompted Harare regional magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna to order him to answer the question.
Rushwaya also defied Magistrate Nduna’s order and refused to give an answer.
Irked by his conduct, Magistrate Nduna warned him that he was in charge and would reprimand him over his conduct.
“I am in charge here. We have remedy to that and I will held you in contempt of court. I will detain you in custody and see you tomorrow when you have sobered up,” warned Magistrate Nduna.
Magistrate Nduna also ordered prosecutors engage Rushwaya over his conduct and answer questions.
It was when Rushwaya confessed that he does not know of anything which Mupfumira did that warranted her arrest on criminal charges.
Rushwaya also told the court that he had no idea on who reported Mupfumira to ZACC and caused her arrest.
He also acknowledged that Mupfumira worked without a contract and had no written down duties and responsibilities.
Rushwaya said ministers are guided by a handbook, fitting into Mupfumira’s narrative that she did not violate any specific duty.
He also refused to comment on Mupfumira’s assertion that her prosecution was as a result of political persecution saying he did not want to dwell into the issues.
Rushwaya did the State’s case a major blow when he told the court that he does not know Barnabas Matongera, who is being jointly charged with Mupfumira.
Mupfumira and Matongera indicated that they will apply for discharge after State closed its case.
She believes she was being targeted by G40 elements who viewed her as an ally of then Vice-President and current president Emmerson Mnangagwa. This is because President Mnangagwa commissioned the project which she is now being arrested and prosecuted for.