Hebert Gomba challenges placement on remand
HARARE mayor Hebert Gomba, who is facing abuse of office charges, has indicated that he will be challenging his placement on remand.
He was in court yesterday with his lawyer saying that when he returns to court on September 8 he will be making the application and they will lead evidence from witnesses to support it.
Regional magistrate Bianca Makwande said the defence would have to address the court on the lawfulness of the application following a recent High Court ruling.
When he appeared in court his lawyers did not challenge the State’s application to place him on remand and proceeded to make a bail application.
He was granted bail by the High Court after the magistrate denied him pre-trial freedom. It is the State’s case 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.
The plan number had been issued to Youth in Business Housing Trust by the ministry of local government.
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 is alleged that the memorandum was misleading and grossly inaccurate since the same plan had been issued and approved by the ministry to the Youth in Business Housing Trust.
Allegations are that any plans to proceed with 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.
Further allegations are that the Environmental Management Authority (Ema) inspected the land in April 2017 and established that 40 percent of it was a wetland and recommended that the wetland be left undisturbed.
Gomba allegedly went on to demarcate the wetland in violation of Ema recommendations.