Harare mayor Gomba freed on $10 000 bail

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Tarisai Machakaire

HARARE mayor Herbert Gomba was yesterday barred by the High Court from visiting his offices at Town House as part of conditions for his release on $10 000 bail.

Gomba is facing allegations of converting State land into council land and parcelling it out to a housing cooperative in Mufakose at the expense of another.
Justice Felicia Chatukuta freed Gomba and ordered him to surrender his passport, not to interfere with witnesses and continue residing at his given address until the matter is finalised.
It was alleged that sometime in 2019, Gomba and his accomplices — who are yet to appear in court — reproduced and altered an approved layout plan belonging to Youth in Business Housing Trust, which resulted in the purported conversion of State land to council land and allocated the land to Taringana Housing Scheme with the same plan number.
Gomba, in his capacity as the ceremonial mayor, then originated a memorandum from his office dated February 18, 2020, purporting that the plan for Taringana Housing Scheme had been approved and, therefore, council should proceed to survey the said land.
It was alleged that the memorandum was misleading and grossly inaccurate since the same plan had been issued and approved by the ministry for the Youth in Business Housing Trust.
Allegations are that any plans to develop the land had been halted by the town clerk, but the mayor disregarded such advice.
The State alleges that Gomba’s actions were beyond his powers as a ceremonial mayor.

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