Senior Court Reporter
SUSPENDED Harare town clerk Hosiah Chisango, director of housing and community services Addmore Nhekairo and suspended town planner, Samuel Nyabezi, have been freed on $50 000 bail each.
Harare magistrate Mrs Bianca Makwande ordered Chisango not to visit the Town House until October 5 to allow the finalisation of investigations.
Nhekairo and Nyabezi were also ordered to stick to bail conditions imposed on other cases involving illegal sale of stands, which are pending before the court.
Chisango, Nhekairo and Nyabezi are being charged with criminal abuse of office, bribery and fraud that stemmed from the illegal parcelling of stands in Kuwadzana, Harare.
In passing her ruling, Mrs Makwande said although Chisango holds an influential position within council, he was not likely to interfere with witnesses since warned and cautioned statements had been recorded from them.
She said Nhekairo has not violated any of his bail conditions imposed on his previous matters, leaving him with less changes of interfering with investigations.
“First accused (Chisango) holds a powerful position at council and is reasonable to conclude that he would interfere with witnesses. What is clear is that this witness recorded a warned and cautioned statement and there is no likelihood that he would interfere with this witness.
“Accused two (Nhekairo) has been on bail on other matters and has not attempted to interfere or influence investigations. This matter is not peculiar to other matters he is facing before the court. He has not been interfering with investigations in those cases and there is no room for him to interfere with witnesses,” she said.
Magistrate Makwande said Nyabezi has been stripped of his powers following suspension from work leaving him with few chances of influencing witnesses.
Chisango was being represented by Advocate Ray Goba, Nhekairo was being represented by Mr Batanai Pesanai while Nyabezi was being presented by Mr Simon Chabuka. For Chisango’s bail, Advocated Goba told the court that his client only acted according to his duties and responsibilities as enshrined in the Urban Councils Act and that it was the State’s onus to prove a criminal conduct. He accused council works director Isaiah Zvenyika Chawatama for instigating the allegations since they never had a good working relationship.
Chisango, through Adv Goba, had said he would not interfere with witnesses once freed on bail.
Nhekairo had argued that there was no documentary evidence linking him to the alleged offences.
He said there was no basis to suggest that he received a bribe as the State alleges. Nyabezi told the court that he could not interfere with witnesses since he has been suspended from work. He said the State has a weak case against him since documents that the State forms basis of his offence does not bear any of his signature.
Nyabezi told the court that the plan at the epicentre of the allegations does not bear his signature.