Chitungwiza town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa, facing 66 counts of fraud, corruption and criminal abuse of duty in cases where he is accused of allegedly swindling the local authority of $718 753 through shady transactions, has been remanded in custody to Thursday.
Tanyanyiwa, who has been in custody since his arrest last Thursday, is also being accused of renting out his personal property in Chisipite, Harare, to Chitungwiza Municipality director of urban planning Conrad Muchesa, for which council paid him
$1 300 rentals per month for five months.
On Tuesday, Harare magistrate Anita Tshuma remanded Tanyanyiwa, who appeared in court clad in prison garb, to tomorrow for his bail determination.
In opposing bail, State prosecutor Oliver Marwa led evidence from senior investigating officer Servious Kufandada who told the court he required three weeks to complete investigations while Tanyanyiwa remained locked up in remand prison.
Kufandada said Tanyanyiwa allegedly doctored some documents, in particular council minutes, to facilitate his fraudulent activities.
Kufandada said: “There are great fears that if accused is released at this stage our investigations will be jeopardised since he was defeating investigations hence the delay in dealing with this matter and bringing him to court.”
Marwa urged the court to remand Tanyanyiwa in custody arguing the State would want to avoid a situation where investigations were interfered with because of the power Tanyanyiwa yielded within Chitungwiza Municipality.
The prosecutor further submitted Tanyanyiwa would abscond given that he faced over 50 counts of fraud of which if convicted each count would attract a 35-year jail term.
However, Tanyanyiwa’s lawyer Admire Rubaya challenged the State’s assertion.
“My friend has already convicted my client to a point of suggesting a 35-year jail term forgetting there is a provision of a fine not exceeding level 14,” Rubaya said.
The lawyer also accused the investigating officer of having an improper motive by opposing bail for Tanyanyiwa.
Rubaya submitted his client no longer wielded any power since he was no longer in office. He further argued Tanyanyiwa never doctored any documents and above all, he was not the custodian of the council minutes referred to by the State.
Rubaya further submitted if Tanyanyiwa had doctored the documents, the State should have charged him with forgery or defeating the course of justice, but that was not the case.