Mutare councillor Exavia Upare appeared in court yesterday facing bribery charges after he allegedly demanded $20 000 as kickback from a company bidding to supply water pipes to the local authority.
Upare (37) is chairperson of the council’s procurement board.
Allegations are that on December 13 last year, members of the city’s procurement board approved recommendations made by a tender evaluation team to award a tender to Anderson Mwashita’s company, Shitazburg Investments.
On December 23, at a full council meeting, Upare moved a motion to have the approval of awarding a tender to Shitazburg and the motion was adopted and confirmed.
Council deposited $332 000 as part payment for the $664 000 project.
The amount was deposited into Mwashita’s Barclays Bank company account.
On December 30, Upare allegedly opened a Barclays account and Mwashita made an inter-account transfer of $20 000 from his company account to the councillor’s bank account.
Upare then withdrew $18 000 on the same day.
It is alleged the money was obtained as a gift for recommending the awarding of the tender to Mwashita’s company.
Upare — arrested on Monday over the allegations — was not asked to plead when he appeared before Mutare magistrate Fabian Feshete, yesterday.
He was remanded to November 22 on $300 bail. In a separate matter Mwashita — who is on a $3 500 bail for allegedly defrauding the council over the same tender — was brought to court facing bribery charges.
According to the State, Mwashita allegedly bribed Upare with $20 000 to land the lucrative tender.
The case was also remanded to November 22.
Truman Joma prosecuted in both cases.