Thursday 4 January 2018


Suspended Chitungwiza mayor Phillip Mutoti and former housing director Kennedy Dube were yesterday convicted of criminal abuse of office and remanded to today for sentencing.

Mutoti illegally got a residential stand for his then three-year-old son in 2015, with Dube facilitating, ahead of over 7 000 applicants on the municipality’s housing waiting list. The duo had denied fraud or alternatively criminal abuse of duty charges as public officers before Chitungwiza resident magistrate Mr Francis Mapfumo when their trial commenced.

However, Mr Mapfumo found them guilty of the alternative charge and acquitted of fraud after a full trial. In arriving at the judgment, Mr Mapfumo noted that Mutoti abused his position as a mayor to obtain favours in the local authority.

“Through evidence led from the State witness, Mr Everisto Nyamadzawo said the accused’s three-year-old son was not eligible to apply for a residential stand. However, the accused told the court that the stand was given to him as part of the conditions of service.

“He later on deposited an affidavit in the application stating that he wanted to transfer the stand to his relative Patience Chimbwe when he actually benefited after selling it to the same person,” said Mr Mapfumo.

On the part of Dube, Mr Mapfumo said he was equally guilty of the same offence by not checking the proper documentation before issuing out the stand.

“The State has failed to proffer evidence with essential elements for fraud charges, but managed to prove alternative charges of criminal abuse of duty as public officers. Both accused persons are therefore found guilty of the alternative charge and not guilty of the main charge,” said Mr Mapfumo.

Proved facts were that on July 2, 2015, Mutoti made an application to Dube for a residential stand measuring 200 square metres. He said it was on behalf of his son Nathan who was then three years old. But before making the application, he approached the fired town clerk, George Makunde, who has already been acquitted on both counts.
Mutoti said he was given the green light to apply for the stand, even though his son was not on the waiting list. He lied that Nathan was self-employed, and he was allocated stand number 26008 in Unit C, Chitungwiza, through Dube.

Dube made the allocation ahead of 7 216 applicants on the housing waiting list. On September 15, Mutoti sold the stand to Patience Tandiwe Chimbwe, whom he had falsely claimed was his relative. Herald


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