Courts clear council officials
Nyore Madzianike Senior Court Reporter
FIVE Harare City Council officials, who were appearing in court on allegations of corruptly parcelling out stands in the city, were last week separately cleared of the offences after the State failed to prove cases against them.
Housing and community services director, Addmore Nhekairo, housing principal officer Edgar Dzehonye, human resource capital director Cainos Chingombe, finance director Tendai Kwenda, and councillor Lovemore Makuwerere were all cleared of the criminal charges they were facing at the Harare Magistrates Court.
Nhekairo and Dzehonye were jointly appearing on criminal abuse of office as public officers and bribery charges after they allegedly procedurally allocated residential stands in Westlea.
The two were acquitted and discharged at the close of the State case after Harare regional magistrate Mrs Feresi Chakanyuka ruled that there was nothing amiss in their conduct when executing their duties.
Mrs Chakanyuka also ruled that the State failed to prove that the layout plan which was used to allocate the said stands was not approved.
The court also ruled that all the due processes in allocating the stands were duly followed, as according to State witnesses’ testimonies during trial.
Mrs Chakanyuka noted that the State failed to prove that Nhekairo and Dzehonye influenced the stands allocation procedure to show favour to police officers and court officials.
Nhekairo was being represented by lawyer Mr Batanai Pesanai, while Dzehonye was being represented by Mr Tafadzwa Hungwe.
Chingombe and Kwenda were also separately appearing on criminal abuse of office and theft of trust property after they allegedly abused money for provision of water, sanitation and recreational services to buy themselves top of the range cars.
They were cleared of criminal abuse of office as public officers and theft of trust property charges by Harare regional magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro.
Chingombe was accused of transferring US$130 000, while Kwenda was accused of transferring US$70 000 from the council’s Traditional Beer Levy Account into their respective bank accounts and bought top of the range cars.
Mrs Guwuriro acquitted the two council directors after noting that the State failed to lead evidence through its witnesses which warranted their conviction.
The court also ruled that the State failed to prove that the Traditional Beer Levy Account existed after the court was only told of the existence of a general account.
Nhekairo was also jointly acquitted with Makuwerere at the close of the State case after the State failed to prove that they had corruptly handed undeserving people some stands allocation letters.
They were acquitted by magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko on criminal abuse of office as public officers.
Director of works Zvenyika Isaiah Chawatama was also cleared of the fraud charges at the same courts.
He was accused of writing letters to council employees stating he was acting Town Clerk even though this appointment had lapsed.