THE trial of Harare businessman Alex Mashamhanda’s two employees facing allegations of attempting to bribe Zanu PF Harare youth chairperson Jim Kunaka failed to commence yesterday after the latter failed to appear in court.
Report by Wonai Masvingise, Senior Reporter
The duo — Isheanesu Maribha (34) and Gwezuva Changamire (35), both employed at Mashamhanda’s firm — are alleged to have offered Kunaka a $15 000 bribe so he could convince Mbare residents to allow the businessman to build a service station in the area.
Yesterday, the court postponed the matter indefinitely and advised Maribha and Changamire that they would be summoned to court once Kunaka was located.
“The matter was ready for trial, but on numerous occasions we have tried and failed to contact Jim Kunaka to make him appear in court,” public prosecutor Patience Chimusaro said.
According to State papers, Mashwede Diesel Services was allocated a stand to build a service station in Mbare, but residents protested the move.
The State alleged that on June 25, Kunaka was approached by one Shepherd Hwande, alias Gunpowder, on behalf of the accused, asking him to use his influence to convince the residents to stop demonstrating against the construction of a service station in the area.
“Gunpowder offered the informant $15 000 which he alleged was from the accused,” the court papers read.
“The accused contacted the informant and asked him to meet them at Crowne Plaza Monomotapa Hotel on June 28. The informant reported the matter to the police and a trap was set. First and second accused were arrested by police after handing the informant
Maribha and Changamire have since denied the charge.