Housing director, cop in court

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Blessing Masakadza

HARARE City Council housing director Admore Nhekairo appeared in court on Saturday on allegations of corruptly offering housing stands to public officials, among them a magistrate, prosecutor, senior and junior cops.

The State alleged the public officials who were offered stands were undeserving and not on the housing waiting list.
The State opposed Nhekairo’s application for bail although he argued that he was a proper candidate for pre-trial freedom.
He was remanded in custody to today for the bail ruling.
Over the weekend, another policeman, Naboth Nyachega, one of the alleged beneficiaries of the scam, appeared before Harare regional magistrate Bianca Makwande.
He was not asked to plead to the charges and remanded out of custody to August 17 on $3 000 bail.
Assistant Commissioner Obeylaw Moyo, Detective Assistant Inspector Claudious Majonga, Detective Constable Aaron Karuru and chief law officer in charge of prosecution at Harare Magistrates’ Courts, Clemence Chimbari, have since appeared in court on similar allegations and are out on bail.
The State alleged that they were offered stands to sabotage investigations and prosecution of council officials, Matthew Marara and Edgar Dzehonye.
As part of their bail conditions, they were ordered not to interfere with witnesses and surrender their passports.
This matter arose from reports by the City of Harare alleging the sale of 150 housing stands by Marara, Dzehonye and other officials which were investigated by Majonga and Karuru under the supervision of Moyo, Nyachega and Joseph Mutipforo.
Their investigations reportedly led to the arrest of Tapiwa Gona, Rudo Chigocha, Believer Mpawaenda and Margeth George, who appeared before the court and the matters were vetted by Chimbari as part of his duties.
Allegations were that on February 4, Majonga and Karuru under the supervision of Moyo, Naboth Nyachega and Joseph Mutipforo arrested Dzehonye and Marara.
The following day they were taken to court and the matter was vetted by Chimbari who allegedly ordered their release and advised the State to proceed by way of summons despite the fact that four other people who had been arrested on similar charges were on $1 000 bail.
Allegations were that investigations established that soon after the release of Dzehonye and Marara on March 19, the three police officers corruptly received waiting list numbers for housing stands in Westlea in a bid to jeopardise investigation and prosecution of the two council officials.
The State alleged that the stands were all allocated on the same date and at the same place, which rules out coincidence.
The allocation letters for the four dated March 19 were allegedly signed by Dzehonye, who after being summoned to CID commercial crimes on criminal charges, was only made to sign a warned and cautioned statement and was released without going to court.
Nhekairo is also alleged to have also signed the letters.
The State also alleged that the council officials further manipulated the council system to corruptly accommodate the four who had been allocated the Westlea stands.
It is also alleged that Dzehonye terminated the contract of one of the key State witnesses in the stands saga and the four failed to take action against him for obstructing justice.
The court heard that on June 30, the three police officers learnt that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission was investigating a matter involving the stands they had been offered by Dzehonye and Marara, rushed to arrest them and took them to court.
The State alleged that the three acted contrary to their duties as investigating officers in the matter involving the Kuwadzana stands allegedly sold by Dzehonye and Marara and other accomplices.
Chimbari is alleged to have acted contrary to his duties by favouring Dzehonye and Marara by refusing to place them on remand yet their accomplices were already on remand for the same case and in return accepted a stand in Westlea.

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