Former Midlands Province Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Jason Machaya and seven other senior Government officials including Mashonaland West Provincial Administrator, Cecilia Chitiyo were yesterday further remanded out of custody as the State is yet to finish compilation of the criminal abuse of office charges they are facing.
Machaya, Chitiyo (50), who is the former PA for Midlands province and officials from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for Midlands namely Matilda Manhambo (59), Sherpard Marweyi (48), Sifelani Moyo (59), Ethel Mlalazi (65), Chisainyerwa Chibhururu (47) and Everest Nyamadzawo (33) appeared before Midlands provincial magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa facing several counts of criminal abuse of office involving thousands of residential stands.
Machaya who is on $1000 bail, Chitiyo, Manhambo, Marweyi, Moyo, Mlalazi, Chibhururu and Nyamadzawo who are on $200 bail were supposed to be charged together but the State led by Mr Andrew Marimo told the court that it was still putting together their charges. Mrs Msipa then remanded the eight to May 31.
It is the State case that during a period extending from 2011 to this year, Machaya, who was the Governor and Resident Minister for Midlands allegedly used his official powers to acquire land for 1 000 residential stands in Mapfungautsi area which was under Gokwe Town Council’s jurisdiction.
The acquisition of the land in question was allegedly contrary to Government policy which allowed the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development to acquire only 10 percent of total stands as per requirement of the Commonage Law.
On the other hand, Chitiyo, allegedly intentionally allocated State land totalling 4 469 stands to land developers by co-signing the offer letters for the State land with Machaya.
Manhambo, who is employed as the provincial projects officer by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for Midlands province, also allegedly intentionally allocated 2 000 stands to land developers and entities working in cahoots with Machaya. Similarly, Marweyi, who is the District Administrator for Gweru, allegedly intentionally allocated 5 199 stands to land developers also working in cahoots with Machaya.
Moyo, who is the director (valuation and estate mismanagement) in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for Midlands province, and Mlalazi, who is employed as the principal director of physical planning and State land management in the same ministry, allegedly carried out valuation for the State land, which had been unlawfully allocated to land barons.
Chitiyo and Machaya allegedly approved the valuations. Chibhururu, who is employed as the provincial planner in the same ministry as Moyo and Mlalazi, allegedly unlawfully designed layout plans for the State land, plans which were approved by Machaya.
Nyamadzawo, who is an administrative officer in the same ministry with Chibhururu, Moyo and Mlalazi, is accused of unlawfully writing a survey instruction letter to the surveyor-general instructing his office to nominate a surveyor for the Stand land, knowing full well that Government had not allocated that land.
Survey instructions, the State alleged, can only be written in respect of State land allocated to persons and entities by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.