Ex-Zinara board chair acquitted

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Blessing Masakadza

STAFF WRITER

masakadzab@dailynews.co.zw

FORMER Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) board chairman Albert Mugabe on Tuesday walked out of court a free man after he was cleared on allegations of abuse of office.

Mugabe was accused of having authorised and tendered false letters of undertaking to clear a mortgage loan with a local bank without his board’s approval, allegations he denied, saying there was no proof that he authored the alleged letters.

Through his lawyer Admire Rubaya, Mugabe applied for discharge at the close of the State’s case and this was granted by Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube.

In the application, Mugabe argued that there was no evidence to link him to the offence and that the allegations were mere persecution.

“In the final analysis there is no evidence to establish prima facie that the accused is the one who authored the letters in question.  The real sources of the letters in question are not known.

“The actual person to have tendered the letters to the bank has also not been established. If these circumstances are considered together with the allegation that the charges emanated from an anonymous person who was not called to testify, the only inference is that the malicious and false incrimination of the accused person is the ultimate aim,” Rubaya submitted.

It was alleged that on March 30, 2017, Zinara’s human resources committee deliberated through a round-robin resolution the acquisition of a mortgage loan from a local bank in respect of former chief executive Nancy Chamisa-Masiyiwa.

The court heard that the six-member human resources committee unanimously recommended to the Zinara board approval to secure a mortgage loan scheme not exceeding US$300 000 with the bank.

It was claimed that on April 5 2017, Mugabe wrote a letter of undertaking for a mortgage to the bank for Chamisa-Masiyiwa indicating that the Zinara board had authorised the former CEO to enter into the housing loan scheme.

The State alleged that Mugabe was aware that the Zinara board had not approved the loan facility.

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