Ex-Zinara boss in court for criminal abuse of office

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

FORMER Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) board chairperson Albert Mugabe appeared in court yesterday facing criminal abuse of office allegations after he allegedly misrepresented to a local bank that the Zinara board had agreed to offset a $300 000 mortgage to its former chief executive Nancy Chamisa-Masiyiwa.

Mugabe (41) was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro, who remanded him to April 11 on $300 bail.

The complainant is Wilfred Ramwi, Zinara acting board chairperson.

The prosecution said on March 30, 2017, Zinara’s six-member human resources committee unanimously resolved to recommend to the board to approve a housing loan for Chamisa-Masiyiwa not exceeding $300 000 with CBZ Bank.

On April 5, 2017, Mugabe wrote a letter of undertaking for the mortgage, advising that the Zinara board had authorised Chamisa-Masiyiwa to get the loan and that the parastatal undertook to pay off the loan if her contract expires before the loan is expunged, which was false.

On April 6, 2017, Mugabe wrote another letter to CBZ Bank advising that the Zinara board had agreed to off-set the $300 000 mortgage in the event that Chamisa-Masiyiwa accrued arrears or if her contract of employment is terminated, which was also not true.

On April 20, 2017, CBZ Bank approved the $300 000 mortgage loan allegedly on the strength of the false letters.

The State alleged Mugabe acted contrary or inconsistent with his duties as a public officer by authoring and tendering the letters without board approval for the purpose of showing favour to the former CEO.

Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the State.

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