Friday, 29 April 2022

EX MUTARE TOWN CLERK CONVICTED, ESCAPES JAIL

FORMER Mutare City Council Acting Town Clerk Antony Mutara has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment wholly suspended and fined $70 000 for criminal abuse of office.

In her judgment, Manicaland senior regional magistrate Mrs Pethukile Msipa noted that Mutara would serve four months imprisonment if in default of payment of the $70 000 fine.

In addition, Mrs Msipa suspended the 12 months imprisonment term for Mutara for five years on condition he does not commit similar offense.

In delivering her sentence, Mrs Msipa noted that Mutara was a first offender and that the offense was committed during a period sound decisions would have been extremely difficult to make within the organisation.

Charges against Mutara arose from an incident that occurred in January last year when he authored a memorandum to the Town Clerk recommending that Ms Geonor Ndlovu be contracted as a typist in the Health Department from January 11 to March 31 last year.

His reason was that his personal assistant, a Ngwarati was on sick leave.

Mutara then attached a letter from his personal assistant which had his instructions on top instructing her to fill in annual leave forms and requested her to avail an employment contract of three months for Geonor Ndlovu.

On Monday, January 11, 2021, the Finance Director, Mr Blessing Chafesuka who was the Acting Town Clerk also went on sick leave and assigned Mutara to act as the Town Clerk for that week.

On January 12, 2021, and in his capacity as the Acting Town Clerk, Mutara offered Geonor Ndlovu a contract of employment as a general hand without going through the interview and selection process.

The contract was effective from January 4 to March 31, 2021.

Mutara then signed that contract on behalf of the late Town Clerk, Mr Joshua Maligwa, who had already died on January 5.

Ndlovu also signed the contract on January 12, 2021.

In this regard, the court heard that Mutara acted contrary or inconsistent with his duties as a public officer by showing favour to Ndlovu whom he gave her a contract of employment without following recruitment procedures at the expense of the council’s good administration.

The court heard that Mutara single recommended as well as approved Ndlovu’s contact and signed that contract on behalf of Mr Maligwa who had died on January 5. Manica Post

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