MAGISTRATE Marehwanazvo Gofa yesterday refused to place City of Harare bosses Cainos Chingombe and Tendai Kwenda on remand, saying the charges levelled against them were “incomplete and meaningless”.
BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
Chingombe, the director of human resources and Kwenda, the finance director, were accused of defrauding the City of Harare of an undisclosed amount of money in allowances.
But Gofa said the State had failed to provide the court with sufficient information and evidence to prove that there was reasonable suspicion that an offence was committed.
Chingombe and Kwenda’s lawyers Lovemore Madhuku and Joel Mambara successfully challenged their placement on remand, arguing that the State’s outline of the charges was incomplete.
“There is no reasonable suspicion that the accused committed the alleged offences. Also, facts provided by the State do not show any criminal abuse of office,” Madhuku said.
Prosecutor Teddy Kamuriwo alleged that sometime between August 2015 and January 2016, the two “favoured” themselves and awarded themselves grossed up allowances, on-call 24/7, holiday and contact leave allowances.
The State alleged that there was an unexplained amount of cash transferred to their personal bank accounts as retrenchment packages which was detrimental to service delivery.
The offence came to light when the Local Government minister ordered the City of Harare to conduct an audit on executive management employment costs and salary rationalisation compliance.