A MINISTRY of Lands and Rural Resettlement official based in Marondera yesterday appeared in court facing allegations of criminal abuse of office after allegedly soliciting a $7 000 bribe from a desperate land seeker.
Ephraim Chiadzwa (36), of Dombotombo, who was employed as an administrative assistant at the Marondera land office, was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare magistrate Milton Serima.
He was remanded to October 31 on $200 bail and ordered to report twice a week at Dombotombo Police Station.
He was also warned against interfering with State witnesses until the matter was finalised.
The Prosecutor General (PG)’s representative Sharon Mashavira told the court that Chiadzwa allegedly connived with an accomplice identified Joseph Munyanyi who has since appeared in court on the same charges.
Mashavira alleged that Chiadzwa, together with Munyanyi and two other accomplices, Simbisai Mapanga and Fortune Nyambodza, allegedly solicited $7 000 from Stephen Musarurwa, who wanted to acquire a piece of land.
She told the court that the accused and his accomplices first tried to dupe one Charles Machingambi whom they showed a vacant plot at Lynton Farm in Marondera.
After Muchingambi had failed to pay an undisclosed amount of money purportedly for processing the offer letters, he is said to have referred Musarurwa to the accused person.
The court further heard that Musarurwa subsequently paid $7 000 through Fortune Nyambodza for the plot and Chiadzwa is alleged to have lined his pockets with $1 000 as payment for his role in facilitating the deal.