Former Gweru Town Clerk, Daniel Matawu was on Thursday morning
arrested by officers from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission on allegation of corruption involving stands worth US$78 000.00.
Matawu appeared in court on Thursday afternoon facing two counts of Criminal abuse of duty as a public officer as defined in section 174 of the Criminal Law (codification and Reform) Act chapter 9:23 and was granted ZW$10 000 bail by Gweru magistrate Miriam Banda.
He was remanded to December 3, 2020 and is required to reside at his
given address and not to interfere with state witnesses.
Complainant in this case is the State represented by Gweru Municipality Acting Town Clerk Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe with assistance of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission investigators.
According to allegations presented in court by the state counsel Miss Margret Mukucha were that Matawu was the overall accounting officer of Gweru Municipality from January 1980 to January 2019 by virtue of being the Municipality Town Clerk.
The late Director of Engineering services, Johns Natambwe is the second accused in the case, among his duties was responsible for town planning, making lay out plans, lodging layout plans with the department of physical planning and to see that they were approved by the responsible minister.
Sometime in 2013, Council decided to use the Golf Course in Mkoba 4,
Gweru for residential purposes and the procedures to be followed when converting an open space into commercial stands involve the application for change of reservation and approval of layout plan by the department of Physical Planning.
The state alleged that once the municipality has identified an open space and strongly believes that there are compelling reasons for changing reserved use of that land to any other use, the Municipality should make resolution to that effect and submit an application to the Minister through the Provincial Planning Officer for assessment of the proposed change.
It was heard in court that the Provincial Planning Officer is supposed to submit to the Chief Director for further assessment and the Chief Director will advertise the intention through the local paper as per section 49 of regional and Town and Country Planning Act, Chapter 29:12. Once the Minister makes a decision if it is positive, the restriction is lifted and if it is negative, it remains in place and the local authority is advised in either case
Matawu working in connivance with Johns Natambwe and Ivan Muzondo who are both now late, did not lodge their layout plan and application for change and reservation to the Department of Physical Planning and acting in connivance they procedurally created and sold five stands (7342, 7447, 7449, 7463 and 7464) all in Mkoba 4 on an active open space (golf course) without approved layout plan and change of reservation by the responsible Minister thereby not following proper procedures.
Both Matawu and Natambwe are alleged to have undersized stand 7464 to
3400metre square but upon inspection, the stand was measuring 8789 metre square in extent thereby showing favor to the beneficiary. In total, they sold land measuring 22389 metre square valued at US$66 659-22.
On count two, the state alleged that sometime in 2009, Council decided to create five institutional stands in Mambo location in Gweru on an open space Matawu again working in connivance with Jonns Natambwe and Ivan Muzondo are alleged to have failed lodge their lay out plan and application for change of reservation to the Department of Physical Planning and acting in connivance unprocedurally created and sold 5 institutional stands (9110, 9108, 9109, 9241 and 9108) on an active open space without approved lay out plan and change of reservation by the responsible Minister thereby not following proper procedures. The land sold measures 6000sqm valued at US $12 000 00.
Miss Mukucha said Matawu’s responsibility was to make sure that proper procedures were followed before parceling out land thereby unlawful and intentionally did that which was contrary to or inconsistence with his duties as a public officer by showing favor to few selected people instead of the required first come first saved basis.