HIGH Court judge, Justice Pisirayi Kwenda Thursday quashed all three corruption charges levelled against former Health minister Obadiah Moyo after ruling the offences were defective.
Moyo has been on remand since his surprise arrest in June last year.
He was facing corruption charges after he illegally approved tenders worth US$60 million in the procurement of Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPEs).
He was subsequently arrested before President Emmerson Mnangagwa fired him as Health Minister. Moyo has since been replaced as minister by Constantino Chiwenga who is also Zimbabwe’s Vice President.
Moyo, through his lawyer Tawanda Zhuwarara, said the awarding of tender was not done by him, but by the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) – state-owned entity.
Zhuwarara argued it was not Moyo’s duty as a minister to approve the tender. He said the minister only referred the companies involved to Natpharm – another state-owned company.
“The charge in all three counts is not clear how the appellant caused the awarding of those tenders,” argued Zhuwarara
Since his arrest, Moyo, a former Chitungwiza General Hospital chief executive has been frequenting the courts without any meaningful progress to his trial.
Moyo was arrested on charges of illegal dealings with Papi Pharma, Drax International LLC and Drax Consult SAGL, companies prosecutors claim were illegally awarded contracts by the Health Minister without competitive tender processes.
The state alleged Moyo influenced the awarding of a US$60 million tender to Drax International, which is headquartered in the United Arab Emirates.
He was also allegedly accused of transacting a similar deal worth US$15 million with Papi Pharma.
The state claimed the transactions were done without the approval of PRAZ.
Drax International Zimbabwe representative Delish Nguwaya was also arrested in connection with the same matter.
However, charges against him were dropped after the High Court noted in his bail application that offering overpriced goods for sale was not illegal