Council officials in court over land deal

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CHEGUTU Two housing officials at Chegutu Municipality appeared in court last week facing corruption charges involving alleged irregular change of ownership of a residential stand. The council was reportedly prejudiced of $2 190 in potential revenue.

Garainesu Shumba (42) and Panganai Marange (34), who are housing clerk and senior housing administration officer respectively, are scheduled to appear before magistrate Winfilda Tiyatara on Thursday when their trial is expected to commence.

The pair was last week remanded on $100 bail each. The State case led by Solomon Kanyoka is that on September 30 last year, the two were approached by Winnet Kamedzeka, an estate agent for Dulwish Enterprises in Chegutu, whose client Moses Masaga wanted to buy a stand at Hintonville in the town.

Charity Taderera, who was selling the stand, was also present. The officials allegedly checked the status of the stand using the relevant file and discovered it was registered in the name of Sure Jerahuni, who is now deceased.

The estate agent paid the pair $900 to process the fake transaction and change the name and address from Jerahuni to Masaga, the court heard.

The council officials allegedly connived and approved the transaction as genuine before the scam was unearthed by councils housing director Melania Mandeya when the file was referred to her office for verification.

The State alleged their conduct was contrary to and inconsistent with their duties as public officers. As a result of their irregular conduct, the municipality was deprived of $2 190 in revenue which should have been paid if they had followed formal transfer procedures.