Maligwa trial re­sumes

The Manica Post - - Local News - Love­more Kadzura Post Cor­re­spon­dent

RUSAPE Coun­cil chair­man, Al­der­man Amon Chawasarira has told the court that for­mer town sec­re­tary, Joshua Maligwa acted be­hind the lo­cal au­thor­ity when he al­legedly re­pos­sessed land be­long­ing to Opleeves In­vest­ments and sold it.

Al­der­man Chawasarira said this when the trial of Maligwa, now Mutare town clerk, who is fac­ing charges of crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice when he was head­ing Rusape re­sumed on Tues­day.

Maligwa (46), who is jointly charged with out­go­ing Rusape Town Coun­cil hous­ing di­rec­tor, Lau­rence Mushayabasa (47) told the court through their lawyers, Mr Vic­tor Chin­zamba and Mr Tau­rai Khupe that they did not do any­thing wrong by re­pos­sess­ing land from Opleeves In­vest­ments, as the land had been fraud­u­lently sold by Rusape Town Coun­cil when it be­longed to Makoni Ru­ral District Coun­cil.

Their lawyers also ar­gued that it was not pos­si­ble for the two to act alone with­out the in­volve­ment of then town trea­surer, Mr Solomon Gabaza and for­mer plan­ner Never Besa.

Al­der­man Chawasarira told the court that a reg­u­lar full coun­cil meet­ing he chaired on July 30, 2015 re­solved that Opleeves stands be re-planned so that they be­came com­pli­ant with the 70 me­tres servi­tude. He added that he only came to know that Maligwa and Mushayabasa had sub­di­vided and sold the stands when Opleves made a po­lice re­port to the Zim­babwe Anti Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (ZACC).

“I can con­firm that I in­deed chaired a reg­u­lar full coun­cil meet­ing on July 30, 2015 where we re­solved that Opleves stands be re-planned so that they were com­pli­ant with the 70 me­tre servi­tude rules. The res­o­lu­tion was not changing own­er­ship of the land.

“For coun­cil to sell that land it means the offer given to Opleves was sup­posed to be with­drawn and Opleves was sup­posed to be no­ti­fied and that was not done. My view is that it was not pos­si­ble to re­pos­sess the stands be­cause Opleves had al­ready paid for them.

“I only came to know that Opleves stands were sub­di­vided and sold to other peo­ple when this case arose and that is also when I was in­formed that the then town sec­re­tary (Maligwa) also bought a stand there. Ac­cused one (Maligwa) who is the chief tech­no­crat did not ad­vise us that the land did not be­long to us. He should have no­ti­fied the pol­icy mak­ers about that and we would have dis­cussed it.

“My vice chair­man (Cllr Manyen­ga­vana) on Novem­ber 3, 2016 chaired a reg­u­lar full coun­cil meet­ing that re­solved to change the stand from In­dus­trial to Com­mer­cial use and again there was no res­o­lu­tion to change own­er­ship,” ex­plained Al­der­man Chawasarira.

Mr Mutyasira told the court that Maligwa and Mushayabasa vi­o­lated sec­tion 74 (1) (a) of the Crim­i­nal Law Cod­i­fi­ca­tion and Re­form Act, Chap­ter 9,23 that makes it crim­i­nal for pub­lic of­fi­cers to abuse their of­fices and du­ties.

He added Maligwa and Mushayabasa abused their duty when they de­fied a full coun­cil res­o­lu­tion and went on to sub­di­vide Mr Ray­mond Marova of Opleves In­vest­ments three stands with­out the bless­ing of coun­cil and Maligwa also bought one of the sub­di­vided stands.

“On July 30, 2015 a reg­u­lar full coun­cil meet­ing noted that Opleves In­vest­ments in­dus­trial stands were within the 70 me­tres of the road servi­tudes con­trary to Gen­eral No­tice 466/ 2004, which pro­hibits new de­vel­op­ments along the Harare –Mutare high­way within 70 me­tres from ei­ther sides of the road cen­tre.

“In view of the Gen­eral No­tice Coun­cil through res­o­lu­tion FCO7/ 07/ 15 re­solved to re-plan the stands be­long­ing to Opleeves In­vest­ments so that they did not en­croach into the 70 me­tres servi­tude.

“Maligwa act­ing in con­cert with Mushayabasa who was the town plan­ner, sub­di­vided the piece of land into smaller units for com­mer­cial pur­poses con­trary to coun­cil res­o­lu­tion FC07/ 07/ 15 dated July 30, 2015.

“On March 5, 2017 Maligwa ad­ver­tised the sale of com­mer­cial stands on the sub­di­vided piece of land owned by Opleves In­vest­ments in The Sun­day Mail and prospec­tive buy­ers re­sponded to the ad­vert.

“Some­time in 2017 Mushayabasa act­ing in com­mon pur­pose with Maligwa sold the sub­di­vided piece of land to in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies well know­ing that the land be­longed to Opleves In­vest­ments Pvt LTD.

“On March 30, 2017 Mushayabasa act­ing in con­cert with Maligwa al­lo­cated Maligwa com­mer­cial stand num­ber 7711 at Wedza turn-off, Rusape mea­sur­ing 1 331 square me­ters sit­u­ated on the sub­di­vided piece of land be­long­ing to Opleeves In­vest­ments.

“Maligwa and Mushayabasa did not com­ply with full coun­cil res­o­lu­tion 07/ 07/ 15, which was their duty as pub­lic of­fi­cers to do for the pur­pose of show­ing dis­favour to Opleves In­vest­ments and favour­ing Maligwa by al­lo­cat­ing him a com­mer­cial stand on a piece of land owned by Opleves In­vest­ments, said Mr Mutyasira.

The trial con­tin­ues. Rusape Town Coun­cil vice chair­man, Coun­cil­lor Evaristo Manyen­ga­vana are ex­pected to tes­tify.

Joshua Maligwa

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