Co-ac­cused dis­owns Mu­toti

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Harare Metropolitan News - Love­more Meya Court Cor­re­spon­dent

FOR­MER Chi­tung­wiza Mu­nic­i­pal­ity act­ing hous­ing di­rec­tor Kennedy Dube yes­ter­day turned on his co-ac­cused, sus­pended mayor Phillip Mu­toti, say­ing he pro­cessed an of­fer let­ter for a res­i­den­tial stand for the lat­ter’s three-year-old son on the ba­sis of an “in­struc­tion” from the town clerk.

Dube said this dur­ing their de­fence case be­fore Chi­tung­wiza res­i­dent mag­is­trate Mr Fran­cis Map­fumo.

The duo is ac­cused of fraud or al­ter­na­tively crim­i­nal abuse of duty as pub­lic of­fi­cers.

Dur­ing cross-ex­am­i­na­tion by his lawyer, Mr Al­bert Nyikadzino of Nyikadzino, Si­mango and As­so­ciates, Dube said the de­tails which were brought be­fore him were de­ceiv­ing.

“I was called to the mayor’s of­fice where he was with (for­mer) town clerk (Ge­orge Makunde) and I was handed a lodger’s card with the in­struc­tion that the mayor re­quested his stand to be put in his son’s name,” said Dube.

“The lodger’s card, which I was handed had al­ready been signed by our hous­ing clerk, Mr Mu­jekure. It was a tra­di­tion, which I in­her­ited at coun­cil that clerks signed lodger’s cards. I then pro­cessed the of­fer let­ter for Nathan Mu­toti through my ju­niors and the town clerk never men­tioned the age of the ben­e­fi­ciary.

“I deny the is­sue of con­nivance with the first ac­cused be­cause the age of the ben­e­fi­ciary was never dis­closed to me and a pro­cessed lodger’s card does not pro­vide a pro­vi­sion for such.

“I acted on the in­struc­tion of my su­pe­rior af­ter, which the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided in­di­cated that Nathan was self-em­ployed.”

Asked whether Nathan was el­i­gi­ble for a stand, Dube said: “Self-em­ploy­ment ap­plies to an adult who is either self-em­ployed to fend for his fam­ily and this can­not ap­ply to a mi­nor, that is de­ceiv­ing.”

Mu­toti had ear­lier stated that he was clue­less on who pro­cessed in­for­ma­tion on his son’s lodger’s card af­ter be­ing ques­tioned by his lawyer, Mr Marufu Man­de­vere of Kadzere, Hungwe and Man­de­vere Le­gal Prac­ti­tion­ers.

“I did not ac­quire this stand un­law­fully, but it was given to me as my ben­e­fit as a mayor and it is stated in the cir­cu­lar from the min­istry that we should get three stands — res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial.

“I was given this stand when we were in­volved in a di­vorce with my wife, so I in­formed the town clerk that I wanted it to be al­lo­cated to my son. I even told him that the child did not have a na­tional Ii­den­ti­fi­ca­tion card and was asked to bring a pho­to­copy of his birth cer­tifi­cate and pass­port.”

Mu­toti said this was the time Dube was called and in­structed to process the stand into his son’s name.

“Dube was called and given an in­struc­tion to al­lo­cate my stand in my son’s name since there was no wait­ing list by then, I was the one who came up with the idea of craft­ing a hous­ing pol­icy,” he said.

How­ever, pros­e­cu­tor Ms Tafadzwa Mak­wande said Mu­toti ap­plied for the stand for his son, which he de­nied say­ing it was done in the hous­ing de­part­ment af­ter he pro­duced the re­quired doc­u­ments.

Ms Mak­wande in­di­cated that she wanted to sub­mit her clos­ing sub­mis­sions on Novem­ber 17, while the two lawyers will do so on Novem­ber 21. Mr Map­fumo’s judg­ment is ex­pected on De­cem­ber 5.

Phillip Mu­toti

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