Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Senator Monica Mutsvangwa has been cited in the United States sanctions busting case in which a Chicago man, C. Gregory Turner, is charged with among other things lobbying for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe.
It is not yet clear how she was involved but Turner cited Mutsvangwa as one of the two people he wanted to be deposed to testify for him. The other was President Robert Mugabe.
Turner wanted Mugabe deposed during his visit to the United Nations General Assembly meeting this week while he wanted to travel to Zimbabwe to get testimony from Mutsvangwa.
Mutsvangwa is a former diplomat and wife of Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa who is also a former ambassador. Monica was Deputy Minister of Labour in the inclusive government.
United States District Court Judge Elaine Bucklo refused to depose both Mugabe and Mutsvangwa on Tuesday because Turner had failed to convince her that Mugabe and Mutsvangwa were willing to testify.
Bucklo said Mutsvangwa’s name appeared in the “Consulting Agreement” that she had provisionally admitted into evidence.
“Turner has not demonstrated that Ms Mutsvangwa is available and willing to testify or that she can lawfully be deposed in Zimbabwe in connection with a US criminal court case,” Bucklo said in her judgment.
“With regard to the substance of Ms Mutsvangwa’s expected testimony, Turner has only said that she will deny ever seeing or signing the Consulting Agreement that I have provisionally admitted as Ben Israel’s statement..”
Ben Israel was jointly charged with Turner but pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven months.
Turner’s trial begins on Monday and could open a can of worms as several former senators who are going to testify for the State are mired in bribery or extortion scandals.