Town clerk in fresh charges, as Rusape trial continues

Mutare town clerk Joshua Maligwa, who is on trial on charges of criminal abuse of office, last week appeared before Rusape provincial magistrate Shane Kubonera facing a fresh but related charge.

By Shingirai Vambe

Maligwa was not asked to plead to the new charge and was remanded to April 19 after paying $200 bail.

In the initial matter, Maligwa is being charged alongside former Rusape housing director Laurence Mushayabasa, whose trial continued yesterday.

In the latest case, the State is represented by prosecutor Tirivanhu Mutyasira, while Maligwa is represented by his lawyer Victor Chinzamba.

According to State papers, Maligwa allegedly abused his office by sitting in a meeting with councillors and council staff who were negotiating his terminal benefits and payment of his tuition fees at Africa University, manipulating the awarding of tenders to a company named Greenfields, which produced Rusape Town’s master plan and another one called Mabvuu, which produced a plan for the civic centre.

As part of his bail conditions, Maligwa was ordered not to interfere with State witnesses.

He was also ordered to continue staying at his given address and avoid visiting council offices until the finalisation of the matter.

Meanwhile, Maligwa’s trial continued with the evidence of two more witnesses, the vice council chairman, Everisto Manyengavana, who confirmed he chaired a full council meeting in November 2016, which resolved on the re-planning and change of use of the land in question belonging to Opplievs Investments.

The witness said the change of use was from industrial to commercial, thus it did not change the ownership of the land, adding that he did not see the advertisement regarding the re-planning, subdivision and selling of stands at the site.

Another witness, Obert Machingura told the court that the prosecution of the duo was not done properly especially after a full council resolution was made.

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