Manangazira Takes Freedom Bid to High Court

Director of Epidemiology and Disease Control in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Portia Manangazira who was remanded in custody for mismanaging COVID-19 funds has approached the High court to appeal against Harare magistrate Bianca Makwande’s decision to deny her bail.

Manangazira is being accused of paying facilitation fees to undeserving ministry staff, flouting tender rules when she bought US$280 529 of goods and services and allegedly diverted diesel coupons for 3 290 litres to private vehicles.

In her ruling, Magistrate Makwande said Manangazira was likely to interfere with investigations and witnesses, including her parents, who were part of the 28 family members she hired as community health workers to undertake the Covid-19 awareness programmes across the country.

Manangazira’s lawyer, Harrison Nkomo of Mhishi, Nkomo Legal Practitioners, said they were appealing against Makwande’s decision, claiming several misdirections.