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Councillor in court over theft

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A Zanu PF councillor for Ward 6 in Goromonzi West allegedly stole diesel meant for road construction and channelled it for personal use to win support during the harmonised elections in March 2008.

Lovemore Chaza (36) appeared before Harare magistrate Paidamoyo Mukumbiri facing charges of theft. Chaza, however, denied charges levelled against him.

The state alleges that during the March harmonised elections, Chaza campaigned on a Zanu PF ticket for a council seat in Ward 6 in Goromonzi.

Chaza, who was a bookkeeper at Zvakatanga Sekuseka Housing Cooperative, allegedly misrepresented to the cooperative administrator, David Gurure, that he had been authorised to get cooperative fuel by the society’s chairperson, John Satombo.

The state alleges Satombo never gave such instructions since any matters involving cooperative issues could not be addressed by an individual but by the cooperative.

When Chaza allegedly stole the fuel he went on a campaign trail and used the fuel for his personal car.

The matter was discovered by the cooperative secretary, Takaedza Chipere, when he wanted to give fuel to a contractor he had hired to construct roads.

The state alleges that Chaza was asked why he allegedly took the fuel and he indicated he was given authority by Satombo who denied giving such instructions.

The cooperative reported Chaza to the police and investigations revealed that Chaza was never given fuel as he alleged.

In his defence, Chaza denied ever stealing and told the court that he was given the diesel by Goodwills Masimirembwa, the chairperson of the Competition and Tariffs Commission.

Chaza denied ever going to Satombo to request for fuel.

He told the court the allegations arose when he unearthed accounting irregularities in the cooperative books and hence the executive members of the society wanted to “fix” him in order to cover themselves.

However, Chipere told the court in his evidence in chief that Chaza stole the diesel and used it for his election campaigns.

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