Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
Chitungwiza Municipality housing director yesterday appeared in court charged with criminal abuse of duty.
Hazel Sithole, 41, was not asked to plead when she appeared before Harare magistrate Learnmore Mapiye.
She was released on $500 bail and was ordered not to interfere with State witnesses, to surrender her travel documents and not to interfere with investigations.
Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa alleged that on May 6, this year, Metalhill Investments Pvt Ltd, represented by one of its directors Yeukai Mukucha, applied for a commercial stand at the Chitungwiza Town Council to construct a service station.
The company directed its application to the Town clerk who in turn directed it to Sithole for processing and due consideration in accordance with the urban councils Act and Chitungwiza town council housing policy.
The policy stipulates that commercial stands that are to be sold, should be subjected to a competitive bidding process.
After receiving the application from the town clerk, Sithole submitted a request to David Duma, director of works to plan for, inspect and avail suitable land for the required purposes that is construction of a service station.
Duma, the State alleged, was supposed to invite the department of physical planning from Ministry of local government, Environmental management agents and Zimbabwe energy regulatory authority to come and asses the suitability for the purposes of the site identification.
After the assessment, Duma was to submit a report on the findings to Sithole and originate a memorandum stating whether the land was available and suitable for the proposed purpose.
Instead of following the due process, Duma did not have the land inspected.
He instead availed stand number 10606 St Mary’s Chigovanyika and originated a memorandum to Sithole availing the stand for allocation.
Sithole instead of advertising the stand twice in a local newspaper and subjecting it to competitive bidding after it had been availed for allocation, went on to allocate the stand to Metalhil.
She signed an offer letter, directing the company to pay at least 30 percent of the total price which was $31 636.50.
Metalhil then paid $13 000.
In all this, Sithole and Duma had been directed to take due procedure in the allocation of the stand but did not comply with the council resolution, the court heard.
Sithole was remanded to appear in court on October 1.