Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau
Zanu PF Member of Parliament for Gokwe-Sesame Constituency Gorden Chanda (41) and Ward 13 Councillor Georgina Chirongoma (34) have been arrested for allegedly extorting villagers and stealing food aid.
Chingoroma was arrested on Monday night, while Chanda turned himself in at Gokwe Central Police Station yesterday.
The pair yesterday appeared before Gokwe magistrate Mr Musaiwona Shortgame facing charges of criminal abuse of office.
They were remanded out of custody to February 11 on $1 000 bail each.
Chirongoma had relaxed bail conditions, while the MP was asked to surrender his passport.
He was also asked to report twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, at Gokwe Police Station and to reside at his Gokwe address.
The State, led by prosecutor Mr Liberty Chimwaradze, said sometime in December last year, the two took advantage of their positions and organised a meeting with village heads. They asked them to mobilise $5 from each of the 13 000 households in the ward.
The court heard that during the meeting, the two told village heads that the money was for the construction of Gande Clinic in the ward.
Mr Chimwaradze said the village heads went out and collected $7 091 which was handed over to the duo.
The court heard that it was then discovered that the clinic was being funded by Gokwe South Rural District Council.
On the second count, Mr Chimwaradze said on December 16 last year, Chirongoma went to Grain Marketing Board (GMB) Gokwe depot and collected 3 200 bags of maize meant for food relief.
The court heard that Chirongoma under declared the number of bags which were supposed to be dropped at each distribution centre. Investigations by police showed that Chirongoma under declared 120 bags of maize.
Police recovered some of the maize at Chirongoma’s house.