Wednesday 7 October 2020


CONVICTED former Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Jason Machaya and provincial planning officer, Chaisayanyerwa Chibururu — serving a 30-month prison term for criminal abuse of office — were back in court yesterday to answer to more charges of illegally allocating State land.

Machaya and Chibururu were two weeks ago each sentenced to 48 months imprisonment for criminal abuse of office before 18 months were suspended from each sentence on condition of good behaviour.

Machaya (68) and Chibururu (50), were convicted for unlawfully allocating about 1 000 stands in Gokwe town.

Yesterday, they were back in court jointly charged with former Midlands and Mashonaland West provincial development co-ordinator Cecilia Chitiyo and five other senior Government officials facing allegations of illegally allocating State land.

The other five are Matilda Manhambo (59), Sherpard Marweyi (48), Sifelani Moyo (59), Ethel Mlalazi (65) and Everest Nyamadzawo (33).

They appeared before a Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje, who has taken over the matter from his Bulawayo counterpart Mrs Sibongile Msipa-Marondedze, facing charges of illegally allocating more than 11 000 stands to land developers.

They are also facing criminal abuse of office charges. The trial was supposed to kick off yesterday after Mrs Msipa-Marondedze in the last appearance last year ruled against the accused’s application for stay of prosecution.

The matter was remanded to November 16 for trial. Machaya on this matter is out on $1 000 bail while the rest are out on $200 bail each. They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

However, following the imprisonment of Machaya and Chibhururu at Whawha Medium Prison, there was a delay in communication which saw Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) failing to bring the duo to court on Monday.

They appeared yesterday following communication between the ZPCS and National Prosecution Authority (NPA).  

It is the State’s case that Chitiyo allegedly allocated State land totalling 4 469 stands to land developers by co-signing offer letters for the State land with Machaya.

Manhambo, who was the provincial projects officer under the then Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, allegedly allocated 2 000 stands to land developers and entities working in cahoots with Machaya.

Similarly, Marweyi, who is the district development co-ordinator for Gweru, allegedly allocated 5 199 stands to land developers also working in cahoots with Machaya.

Nyamadzawo, who is an administrative officer, is accused of unlawfully writing a survey instruction letter to the Surveyor-General, instructing his office to nominate a surveyor for the State land, knowing fully well that the Government had not allocated that land.

Survey instructions, the State argues, can only be written in respect of State land allocated to persons and entities by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

Chibhururu, Moyo and Mlalazi are facing abuse of office charges. Mr Mirirai Shumba represented the State. Chronicle


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