$1,6 mil­lion Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion probe back­fires

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mashudu Net­sianda Se­nior Court Re­porter

PROP­ERTY be­long­ing to the Zim­babwe An­ti­Cor­rup­tion 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.

ZACC’s at­tached prop­erty in­cludes a Toy­ota Hilux and a heavy duty gen­er­a­tor which might be dis­posed to re­cover $11 836,24 in taxing fees.

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.— @mash­nets.

BEAT­ING THE COLD . . . Most peo­ple went about their busi­ness in warm clothes as tem­per­a­tures dropped yes­ter­day af­ter weeks of heat. The three uniden­ti­fied men were cap­tured go­ing about their for­eign ex­change busi­ness along Fort Street in Bu­l­awayo

VP Phelekezela Mphoko

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