FORMER Midlands provincial administrator Cecilia Chitiyo and six other senior government officials recently appeared at the Gweru Magistrates Court facing allegations of signing for the allocation of more than 5 000 residential stands to land barons.
They are facing charges of criminal abuse of office after allegedly giving out the stands.
Chitiyo (50), former Gweru district administrator Sherpard Marweyi (48), provincial projects officer Matilda Manhambo (59), director valuation and estate management Sifelani Moyo (59), principal director for physical planning and State land management section Ethel Mlalazi (65), provincial physical planner Chisainyerwa Chibhururu (47) and administration officer Everest Nyamadzawo (33) appeared before Midlands provincial magistrate Phathekile Msipa facing 14 counts of criminal abuse of office last Friday.
It is the State’s case that Chitiyo, who has been transferred to Mashonaland West province, unlawfully co-signed offer letters to distribute 4 469 stands which were on State land.
One of the alleged signatories to the transaction is former Midlands Provincial Affairs minister Jason Machaya.
Similarly, Marweyi allegedly allocated 5 199 stands to land developers also working with Machaya, but knowing they had no lawful right to allocate State land.
Prosecutor Helen Khosa told the court that Manhambo, working with Machaya, allegedly allocated 2 000 stands to land developers on State land without lawful right.
Moyo and Mlalazi allegedly carried out valuation for State land, which had been unlawfully allocated to land barons.
The court heard that Chitiyo and Machaya approved the valuations and Chibhururu unlawfully designed layout plans for State land plans which were approved by Machaya. — Masvingo Mirror