TRANSPORT and Infrastructural Development deputy director roads division, Enerst Shenje, has been granted bail in a case in which he faces charges of allegedly claiming false payments for property owners affected by the Mbudzi interchange project.
Shenje was released on US$500 bail, with a condition to report to ZRP Ruwa once a week.
He is accused of forging compensation agreements to benefit from the Government’s programme to fund owners affected by the project.
The State said Shenje submitted fraudulent land deeds to receive compensation valued at US$200 000.
Presiding magistrate, Donald Ndirowei, said the State had failed to provide any compelling reasons for Shenje’s pre-trial detention.
“It’s insufficient for the State to make unsubstantiated claims opposing bail without supporting their reasons.
“This court isn’t convinced that there are cogent reasons warranting the denial of bail because he went to the police upon being summoned, four statements have been recorded from four witnesses and he will not benefit anything from interfering with them.
“He has no history of interfering with witnesses and hasn’t attempted to flee after his statement was recorded during investigations.
“On commission of further offences, the State hasn’t shown the likelihood to commit offences and they didn’t produce any previous convictions.
“The ground that the public will lose confidence in the justice system if he’s released on bail was vague. In fact, accused persons should be released pending trial to show the fairness of the justice system,” magistrate Ndirowei said.