City director faces fresh charges

CITY of Harare director of works Isaiah Zvenyika Chawatama was on Friday slapped with fresh criminal abuse of duty charges emanating from the allocation of 12 residential stands in Harare.

Represented by Admire Rubaya, Chawatama was granted $20 000 bail by Harare magistrate Judith Taruvinga. It is the State’s case that on February 16, 2017 Samuel Nyabezi, a city planner, who is still at large, produced a layout plan that created 12 residential stands.

The plan further came up with one institutional (police) stand at Subdivision C Portion of Strathaven C at corner Quendon and Lyndhurst Roads, Monavale in Harare, with stand numbers ranging from 1138 to 1150.

According to court papers, the land had been set aside as freeway reservation. 

It is alleged that Nyabezi unlawfully and contrary to his duties of planning, omitted to seek the minister’s consent for change of use.

Nyabezi allegedly approved the layout plan without submitting it to the environmental management committee for recommendations or to full council for approval as per procedure.

On December 17, 2019 Chawatama allegedly connived with Nyabezi and misrepresented to the City of Harare’s finance and housing and community services departments that the stands were approved and ready for disposal. 

Claims are that acting on the misrepresentation, the department of housing and community services went on to sell the stands to beneficiaries who were made to pay $50 000 provisional deposit for intrinsic land price.