Councillors’ bail ruling today
FOUR Harare City councillors, who are in court on allegations of allocating stands to several companies without following procedures, will know their fate regarding pre-trial freedom today.
Lovemore Makuwerere, Hammy Madzingira, Anthony Shingadeya and Costa Mande yesterday made their application for bail before Harare regional magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa.
The State is opposing their admission to bail with the investigation officer Gilbert Manyore arguing that the four were not proper candidates for bail. He said they have potential to interfere with evidence and investigations which were still underway because of the positions they hold.
Manyore also stated that the four faced a custodial sentence if they were convicted, which would induce them to abscond trial.
The four, however, argued they were fit candidates for bail and they have not interfered with any investigations.
This also comes as Makuwerere had been granted $10 000 bail in another matter before being charged jointly with the other three in the latest case.
The court heard that the councillors were committee members of the education, health, housing and community services and stand accused of allocating stands to several companies, including Plushfort Property Developments, Hayes Construction and Zimbabwe Housing Project.
It is alleged that none of the beneficiaries had submitted written and formal applications requesting the allocation of the stands.
Allegations were that they deliberately omitted to follow the laid procedures to the benefit of the beneficiaries and to the prejudice of the council and people on the housing waiting list.
They allegedly omitted procedures required for interested applicants to submit application letters to the council; calling for a meeting to determine proof of company registration, financial and technical capacity to undertake the projects, among other requirements.
The councillors allegedly omitted the procedure and fraudulently originated reports recommending allocation of stands to the beneficiaries.
The State was represented by Lancelot Mutsokoti.