Ex-council top executive denied bail

BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA

Former Harare City Council human capital director Cainos Chingombe, who is facing allegations of criminal abuse of office, was on Tuesday denied bail by magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa.

Chingombe has been appealing for bail without success since his arrest on December 1 last year.

He was arrested by the Special Anti-Corruption Unit for alleged criminal abuse of office and defrauding Harare City Council of millions of dollars through dubious transactions.

Chingombe once appealed for bail at the High Court, but Justice Benjamin Chikowero dismissed the appeal despite agreeing that the magistrate who initially dealt with the matter misdirected herself.

Chingombe’s lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku approached the Supreme Court and was advised to return to the lower court where his client was denied bail by Gofa.

Allegations are that on October 30, 2014, Chingombe working in collusion with other council employees transferred US$130 000 from the traditional beer levy account into his personal account.

It is alleged that he used US$119 000 to purchase a Land Cruiser Prado which he registered in his name, before he pocketed the balance of US$11 000 which he later refunded through deductions from his salary.

The council boss, on top of gobbling over US$500 000 a month in salaries, also unprocedurally used over US$530 000 of unbudgeted funds to purchase top-of-the-range vehicles for other council directors that include a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Series, Toyota Land Cruiser pick-up truck, a Land Rover Discovery and Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.

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