Zimbabwe Health Minister granted bail in Covid-19 graft

Zimbabwe's Health minister, Obadiah Moyo, arrives at court in Harare, Saturday June 20, 2020. Moyo is facing allegations of illegally awarding a multi- million dollar contract for COVID-19 testing kits, drugs and personal protective equipment to a shadowy company. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

HEALTH and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo, who is facing three counts of criminal abuse of office as a public official in relation to the procurement of US$60 million Covid-19 materials, has been released on ZW$50,000 (about US$600) bail.

Harare Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi granted Moyo bail this afternoon following his appearance before the courts after his arrest over the scandal.

Mutevedzi also ordered Moyo to report to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, which arrested him, thrice a week.

Health and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo appears at the Harare Magistrates Court Saturday afternoon.

He is also to surrender his passport, and to not interfere with State witnesses.

The witnesses include Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, George Guvamatanga, as well as Dr. Agnes Mahomva who is national coordinator of the National Covid-19 Taskforce.

Other witnesses, according to the court papers, are top managers at the National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm).

Count 1 faced by Obadiah Moyo

The State had earlier on indicated that it would oppose bail as the accused could abscond and /or interfere with witnesses as he faces a lengthy period in jail if convicted.

Count 2 faced by Obadiah Moyo

The State had further said it had a syro g case against the accused, hence there was a motive for him to abscond if released.

Count 3 faced by Obadiah Moyo

Further, the State had said the case involving Obadiah Moyo had stirred public anger, and his release would jeopardize public confidence in the justice delivery system.

However, the State capitulated at the last minute and agreed to the accused being granted bail.

Meanwhile, the Minister will be back in court on 31st July.

This is a developing story… – Zimbabwe Voice