Chegutu district administrator Makanzwei Jecheche was on Wednesday convicted of soliciting for a US$9 000 bribe to facilitate allocation of an A2 plot and has been jailed for 12 months.Chinhoyi magistrate Mr Sam Chitumwa found Jecheche guilty of abuse as a public official.
He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, with six months suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.
Mr Chitumwa said corruption was a scourge that needed decisive action to be stopped. He said Jecheche’s moral blameworthiness was high and his actions were fuelled by greed rather than need.
Prosecutor Mr Vote Zishiri proved beyond reasonable doubt that Jecheche solicited for a bribe. He was arrested soon after receiving US$6 000 in marked notes from a land seeker. He had the money in his office desk when police pounced on him.
It was proved that Jecheche was approached by a land seeker Mr Honest Mushangwe in September, 2013 who wanted a plot at Hunyani Estates in Chegutu. Jecheche told him there had been three vacant plots but two had been taken up.
After viewing the plot, he was told that he should pay US$6 000 which was to be shared between Jecheche and other officials.
He was told to pay another US$3 000 to Jecheche for facilitating the allocation. However, Mr Mushangwe, from Harare, said he only had US$1 400 and the DA told him to come back with the full payment.
Mr Mushangwe made a police report and officers set a trap. Marked bills were placed in an A4 envelope and Jecheche told Mr Mushangwe to place the money in his Nissan Elgrand, which was parked outside his office.
Mr Mushangwe said there were people near the car, and Jecheche told him to put the envelope in the top left drawer of his office desk.
Soon afterwards police detectives arrived and found the marked notes.