Courts and Law

Former Minister Obadiah Moyo’s trial date pushed to 2021

FORMER Health and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo, who is out on bail on charges of corruption regarding a US$60m deal to procure COVID-19 test kits and medical equipment, will stand trial on January 11 next year.

Moyo appeared in court today before regional magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna who furnished him with the trial date.

The former Minister is being charged for his alleged involvement in NatPharm’s unprocedural contract with Drax International LLC to supply medicines and surgical sundries, and is consequently facing criminal abuse of office charges.

In June, a Harare magistrate granted Moyo bail for 50,000 Zimbabwean dollars (US$2,000 at that time) and the bail was not opposed by prosecutors who are investigating three charges, including an “abuse of office” charge that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years.

He also stands accused of trying to coerce the treasury to pay for 15,000 coronavirus test kits that were being held at the airport.

Moyo was arrested for his dealings with Drax International LLC and Drax Consult SAGL, companies prosecutors claim were illegally awarded contracts by the health ministry without a competitive tender process.

According to the State, Moyo disregarded requests by the intelligence services, which conducted due diligence on the two firms, to hand over the contracts.

The contracts have since been cancelled by President Emmerson Mnangagwa who subsequently fired Moyo and replaced him with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga. ■

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