Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
Three Harare City Council bosses who were accused of siphoning over $200 000 from Harare Municipality Medical Aid Society (HMMAS) were yesterday freed.
Harare magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo removed the trio from remand after their lawyer Mr Admire Rubaya challenged their placement on remand.
The State has no case against the trio on charges of abuse of office, but can bring them to court on a different charge using the same allegations. Mr Rubaya argued that the trio, HMMAS chairperson Shasekant Jogi, MDC-T Ward 43 councillor Panganai Charumbira, and city health director Prosper Chonzi were wrongly charged and did not abuse their offices because HMMAS is not part of Harare City Council.
“My clients cannot be charged for abuse of duty as public officers because they did not. HMMAS is not part of Harare City Council in any way. According to the constitution, it is a stand-alone entity,” he said.
“There are full council resolutions by the then mayor, Muchadeyi Masunda, which indicate that the medical aid scheme is now a private organisation.”
The trio was facing charges of abuse of duty as public officers and was accused of awarding themselves hefty sitting allowances.