BY SILAS NKALA
Former Midlands provincial governor, Jason Machaya was denied bail, while his accomplice former Midlands provincial physical planner, Chisayinyerwa Chibururu was granted $50 000 bail.
Machaya is accused of corruptly allocating 17 799 residential and commercial stands to Gokwe land developer, Striation World Marketing Company and in return got a kickback of 1 791 stands.
Chibururu and Machaya were in September sentenced by Gweru magistrate Charity Maphosa to four years in jail each with 18 months suspended on condition they do not commit a similar crime in two years.
They were later denied bail pending appeal against sentence by the magistrate court.
Through their lawyers, the two approached the Bulawayo High Court on appeal. In their appeal against sentence, the duo stated that the sentence was unduly harsh, insensitive and unprecedented.
In their application for bail, they submitted that since they have filed an appeal against sentence, there were high prospects of their appeal to succeed hence they deserve to be granted bail pending the finalisation of their appeal at the High Court.
In a judgment delivered on Tuesday, Justice Christopher Dube Banda denied Machaya bail, while granting Chibururu $50 000 bail.
In denying Machaya bail, Dube Banda said he was a senior government official who misused his position and if granted bail he was likely to abscond.
In granting Chibururu bail, Dube Banda said there was no evidence that he allocated 1 000 stands to Striation World Marketing Company for servicing. He said on analysing the case, the court misdirected itself by failing to analyse his case, hence Chibururu was a good candidate for bail.
“In the result, I make the following order, first appellant (Machaya)’s appeal against the refusal to admit him to bail must fail and it is accordingly dismissed and he shall remain in custody. The second appellant (Chibururu)’s appeal succeeds. He is and hereby admitted to bail on the following conditions.
“He deposits the sum of $50 000 bail with the clerk of court magistrates court in Gweru. He resides at Flat number 9, Third Street, Gweru until the appeal pending under cover of case number HCA 90/20 is finalised,” ruled Dube Banda.
“Should the second appellant be a holder of a passport, such passport is to be surrendered to the Clerk of Court Magistrate Court, Gweru.
He must report to Gweru Central Police Station once a week on Fridays between 6am and 6pm until the appeal pending under cover of case number HCA 90/20 is finalised.”
The two, during trial, were denying the charges but were later convicted at the close of the State case by Maphosa.
Machaya, who is represented by lawyer Alec Muchadehama has been facing charges of abuse of office involving residential and commercial stands on State land in Gokwe totalling 17 799, which the court argued was inconsistent with his duties as a top public officer.
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