BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
HARARE City Council’s director of works Isiah Zvenyika Chawatama yesterday appeared in court facing criminal abuse of office charges.
Chawatama (55), who was represented by Admire Rubaya, was granted $20 000 bail by magistrate Judith Taruvinga.
The city boss was remanded to August 23.
The State alleges that on February 16, 2017, one Samuel Nyabezi, the city planner, who is still at large, created a layout plan to create 12 residential stands and one institutional (police) stand at Subdivision C Portion of Strathaven C at corner Quendon/ Lyndhurst Road, Monavale, in Harare.
The stand numbers were ranging from 1138 to 1150 on the land that was allegedly set aside for Freeway Reservation.
Chawatama is alleged to have unlawfully omitted seeking the minister’s consent for change of reservation nor cause the stand numbering done by the survey division.
It is alleged that Nyabezi approved the layout plan without submitting it to the city’s environmental management committee for recommendations nor to full council for approval as per procedure.
Chawatama’s duties, among others, include supervising the city planner, whose responsibilities include creation of layout plans and applying to the Local Government ministry for the minister’s consent for change of reservation of reserved open spaces.
The State alleges that on December 17, 2019, Chawatama allegedly connived with Nyabezi and misrepresented facts to City of Harare’s finance department and the Department of Housing and Community Services through a memorandum dated December 17, 2019 that the aforementioned stands were approved and ready for disposal.
It is alleged that acting on the misrepresentation, the Department of Housing and Community Services went on to dispose of the stands to beneficiaries who were made to pay $50 000 provisional deposit for intrinsic land price.
It is alleged the layout plan number TPF/WR/65/2015 was not recorded in town planning registers and stand numbers on the layout plan do not appear in the survey registers.
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