Monday, 15 March 2021

EX ZINARA BOSS FLEES AS HIGH COURT UPHOLDS SENTENCE

 FORMER Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) acting chief executive officer Moses Julius Juma is on the run after losing a High Court appeal against his conviction and sentence for abuse of office.

Juma was first arrested in 2016 for abuse of office but was released after former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko stormed Avondale Police Station and demanded his release.

He was rearrested in 2018 and sentenced to 30 months in prison and was supposed to serve two years in jail after six months were suspended from his sentence.

Juma was arrested for handpicking a tax consultancy company on a contract worth US$500 000 without going to tender as required to promote good governance.

Following his conviction, Juma approached the High Court appealing against his conviction and was granted $5 000 bail. The Apex court upheld his sentence.

In a statement yesterday, Zacc said since the court upheld his conviction, Juma has vanished and is now on the wanted list.

“Moses Julius Juma, former Zinara acting chief executive officer, is a fugitive from justice. He was convicted and sentenced for criminal abuse of duty at the Rotten Row Magistrate Court. However, he appealed at the High Court against his conviction and sentence. He lost his appeal and has to serve his sentence. Anyone with information on his whereabouts to advise the ZACC on the following WhatsApp number 0719529483 or tipoff line 0242307065-7 0r 02422369602/5/8/14,” read a Zacc statement posted on Twitter.

In an interview, Zacc national spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure said the anti-graft commission is lobbying for strict bail conditions for those facing corruption charges so that they do not escape from justice.

He said suspects were taking advantage of the country’s Constitution that guarantees bail for suspected criminals.

“The Constitution entitles suspects to bail but you will then find some criminals skipping bail. What is also required is that stringent bail conditions must be imposed for corruption cases. We are already advocating for that, especially on high profile corruption cases so that suspects cannot skip bail. We understand that suspects are entitled to bail as per our constitution but stringent bail conditions are necessary,” said Comm Makamure.

Government has committed to fighting corruption in the country with several high-profile people being arrested on alleged graft charges.

This anti-graft crusade has claimed Cabinet ministers with former Health and Child Care Minister Dr Obadiah Moyo and ex-Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Priscilla Mupfumira axed from Government as they answer to corruption cases.

Former Midlands Provincial Minister Jason Machaya was in September convicted for abuse of office after he was involved in the illegal allocation of 17 799 commercial and residential stands on State land in Gokwe.

Machaya (68) received 1 791 stands back from the developers and entities he had allocated the State land to and had already sold 1 185 to individuals, pocketing US$900 000. Former Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge, who was accused of prejudicing the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) of $12 650, was in 2018 sentenced to an effective two-and-a-half years in prison. Undenge appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Hoseah Mujaya facing charges of abuse of office and was convicted after a full trial.

He was sentenced to four years in prison, with one-and-a-half years suspended on condition he does not commit a similar crime.

Undenge in 2016 handpicked a public relations company owned by Zanu-PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa and former ZBC news anchor Oscar Pambuka to do work for ZPC without going to tender.

President Mnangagwa has committed to zero tolerance to corruption in the country. Herald

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