Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent—
FORMER Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs, Jason Machaya, who is facing allegations of criminal abuse of office, has been further remanded to February 20 after the State requested more time to proffer charges against him. Machaya, who was being represented by lawyer, Mr Norman Mugiya of Mugiya Macharaga legal practitioners, pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned before Gokwe magistrate, Ms Sithabile Zungula.
He is out of custody on $1 000 bail.
The prosecutor, Mr Tineyi Tirigo alleged that during a period extending from 2011 to 2017, Machaya, who was the Minister for Midlands used his official powers to acquire land for 1 000 residential stands in Mapfungautsi area which was under Gokwe Town Council’s jurisdiction.
Mr Tirigo told the court that the acquisition of the land in question was contrary to Government policy which allowed the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development to acquire only 10 percent of total stands as per requirement of the Commonage Law.
The court heard that as a result of Machaya’s actions, Gokwe Town Council lost revenue in respect of 700 stands. Mr Tirigo further alleged that Machaya went on to impose a land developer known as Striations World Marketing Property Developers to service the stands without following proper tender procedures.