By Martin Mawaya
The incarcerated former Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Jason Machaya and his accomplice former Midlands provincial Physical planner Chisainyerwa Chibhururu are likely to spend Christmas behind bars as the high court is yet to hear their appeal against conviction and sentence.
The duo’s legal counsel Mr Alec Muchadehama confirmed that they are still waiting for the high court to give them a date for the appeal.
“We are waiting for the courts to avail the dates to hear the appeal,” he said.
Machaya and Chibhururu were convicted by the Gwanda Provincial Magistrate Ms Charity Maphosa and sentenced for effective two and half years in prison after the state successfully proved that the two abused their positions and allocated themselves stands that belong to the state.
Meanwhile, Machaya and other senior government officials facing allegations of annexing more than 11500 state land will go for trial on the 15th of February 2021 after the state consented to the postponement so that the legal counsel for the accused persons have ample time to prepare for the trial.
Machaya 67, Cecilia Chitiyo 52, who is the Mashonaland Provincial Administrator, Matilda Manhambo 61, Shepherd Marweyi 50, Sifelani Moyo 61, Ethel Mlalazi 67, Chisainyerwa Chibhururu 49 and Everest Nyamadzawo 35, were all represented by legal counsels.
It is the state case that Chitiyo who was employed as the Provincial Administrator for Midlands province allegedly intentionally allocated 4 469 of state land to land developers by co-signing offer letters with Machaya.
Manhambo, who was employed as a provincial projects officer by the Ministry of local Government, Public Works and National Housing, allegedly allocated 2000 stands to land developers conniving with Machaya.
For Marweyi, who was employed as the District Administrator for Gweru, allegedly allocated 5 199 stands to land developers working in cahoots with Machaya.
Similarly, Nyamadzawo, an administrative officer is accused of unlawfully writing a survey instruction letter to the surveyor General instructing his office to nominate a surveyor for the state land, knowing fully that the government has not allocated the land.
Chibhururu, Moyo and Mlalazi are facing allegations of abuse of office charges.