A RETIRED army colonel and former Chief Operations Officer of Zimbabwe Mining Development was yesterday hauled to court to answer to charges of criminal abuse of office.
Lawrence Gondo was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.
It is the State case that during the period extending from October 29-30, Gondo in his position of Acting Chief Operations Officer for Zimbabwe Mining Development Company, wrote a letter misrepresenting that CUTE Suppliers had been offered a three months mining contract at the ZMDC Mhangura slimes dumps.
The letter was meant to obstruct investigations in connection with 59 tonnes of copper ore impounded by the police in Featherstone and to give a false inference that CUTE had realised the copper from ZMDC’S Mhangura mine.
It is alleged that in actual fact, the recovered copper ore had not originated from the said Mhangura mine thereby showing favour to Kirsten Chirenje, Mtileni Piet, Famina Masaire who were arrested for illegal possession of copper who were later acquitted by the Chivhu magistrate’s court.
Meanwhile, Masaire also appeared in the same court facing charges of illegal possession of copper and obstruction of justice.
It is alleged that between August and October, Masaire without an operating license connived with a company called Elements 22 a copper dealing company and misrepresented to Kevin Tembo of Inyati mine that she was a copper dealer and bought 59 tonnes of copper.
The copper ore was impounded by officers from Chivhu whereupon Masaire further misrepresented that she was an employee of Elements 22 and produced an Element 22 permit number showing that she was illegally dealing with copper without a license.
Gondo and Masaire were represented by top lawyer Jonathan Samkange and were released on free bail.
The matter was remanded to January 15 next year.
Linda Gadzikwa represented the State.