Geraldine Zaranyika Herald Reporter
The matter involving former City of Harare bosses — Tendai Mahachi, Sekesai Makwavarara and Michael Mahachi — was yesterday postponed to July 16 as Mr Zivanai Macharaga, the prosecutor handling it, was not available.
Prosecutor Ephraim Zinyandu requested for the postponement when the trio appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya.
The three are accused of corruptly awarding Augur Investments a contract for the construction and upgrading of the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Expressway, then known as Airport Road, at a cost of US$80 million without following due process.
Allegations are that on May 30, 2008, City of Harare corruptly signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Augur Investments, a foreign company purportedly based in Ukraine.
Former town clerk Tendai Mahachi; Sekesai Makwavarara (former chairperson of the commission running City of Harare) and ex-commissioner Michael Mahachi, signed the agreements on behalf of City of Harare.
According to the agreement, Augur Investments was to fund the project in exchange for land from the city in lieu of work done on the road. The project was divided into four phases and was to be completed by 2010.
It was also agreed that title deeds for the piece of land to be transferred to Augur Investments be held in trust by Messrs Coghlan, Welsh and Guest, pending transfer upon certification of work done.
Tendai Mahachi, being a public officer, acting in common purpose with the duo, allegedly corruptly appointed Augur Investments to undertake the upgrading of the road without following procedures outlined in the Urban Councils Act and without inviting competitive bids for the project.
It is further alleged that Augur Investments did not complete the project as it did not have the capacity to handle a project of such a magnitude.
As a result, City of Harare was prejudiced of US$80 million.