PROPERTY belonging to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has been attached over a debt amounting to more than $11 000 in legal costs emanating from a protracted legal wrangle against Umguza Rural District Council’s chief executive officer, Mr Collen Moyo.
Mr Moyo, who was allegedly involved in a $1,6 million road construction tender scandal, had his charges withdrawn before plea by Bulawayo regional magistrate Mr Trynos Utawashe.
He was in 2010 brought before former regional magistrate, Mr Owen Tagu by ZACC on accusations of abusing funds sourced from the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (Zinara) meant for the rehabilitation of a 12km stretch of road and construction of a 60-metre bridge across Umguza River. Moyo faced a charge of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha last year set aside Mr Tagu’s decision to transfer the matter from Bulawayo to Harare regional court and subsequently ordered ZACC to pay Mr Moyo the costs of suit on an attorney-client scale.
Mr Moyo, through his lawyer, Mr Dumisani Dube of Mathonsi Law Chambers, had challenged the transfer of the matter from the jurisdiction of Matabeleland regional magistrate’s court to Harare. He also sought an order directing ZACC to pay the costs of the suit in the event that it opposed the application.
Justice Kamocha said the magistrate caused the transfer of the matter on the basis of the provisions of section 95 (6) (8) (9) and (10) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, which have since been repealed.
The commission, through the Civil Division in the Attorney-General’s Office, has since filed an urgent chamber application for stay of execution, arguing that it was never part of the taxation process. ZACC contended that it was not served with a notice to attend the process.
Mr Moyo, in his capacity as the chief executive officer of Umguza RDC, was arrested on October 19 in 2012 at the instigation of the ZACC. He was alleged to have unlawfully facilitated the release of $1,6 million to Notify Enterprises before it was contracted to carry out rehabilitation of a 12 km stretch of Ilitshe Road and construction of a 60-metre bridge across Umguza River.
He allegedly raised false claims certifying that the work had been done. When the project was put to tender and Mr Moyo realised he was going to be exposed, he allegedly abused his power as CEO to cause the awarding of the tender to Notify Enterprises in retrospect.
The contractor was allegedly paid a total of $1 455 650, but no bridge was constructed.
After his arrest, Mr Moyo appeared at the Bulawayo regional court and was remanded several times.
On February 20, 2013, ZACC led by state counsel, took to the witness stand to make an application for the case to be removed from Bulawayo and be transferred to Harare for trial.
ZACC sought the transfer, arguing that some of the elements of the alleged offence were done in Harare and that there were four other people in the capital who were jointly charged with Mr Moyo.
The case, which had dragged for five years, came to an end after Mr Utawashe granted both the defence counsel’s and state’s request for the matter to be withdrawn before plea. chronicle