Harare town clerk acquitted of criminal abuse of office charge

Harare town clerk Hosiah Abraham Chisango

HARARE town clerk Hosiah Abraham Chisango, who was facing charges of perjury and criminal abuse of office on allegations that he favoured Pokugara Properties by writing a letter authorizing the demolition of a house built without an approval plan, has been acquitted.

Chisango who was being represented by Alec Muchadehama was found not guilty of any wrongdoing at the close of the State case by regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges saying the court should found him not guilty as he exercised his authority as the council's chief accounting officer.

He was facing perjury or alternatively criminal abuse of office charges.

The State had alleged that October 3, 2018 at the High Court, Chisango tendered an affidavit in a case HC8943/18 in which he alleged that a house subject of proceedings in case No. HC 8943/18 had been built without an approved plan when in fact the plan had been approved as per City of Harare’s records. 

 The State had further alleged that when Chisango deposed to the affidavit he was showing favour to Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Ltd which intended to demolish a house built by George Katsimberis and Coolfitch Investments (Pvt) Ltd. 

Chisango was jointly charged with the City of Harare but charges against the latter were dropped before plea. 

In an attempt to prove its case, the State called four witnesses including former building inspector Roy Nyabvure after which it closed its case. 

However, in acquitting Chisango, magistrate Mupeiwa ruled that the State failed to prove a case against him warranting to be put to his defence.

Magistrate Mupeiwa said the requirements for Chisango to be discharged were satisfied in the trial.

The magistrate further said nothing was placed before the court warranting it to convict the accused person.

Mupeiwa said no evidence from the register books was brought to court to show that the building plan was approved.

He further ruled that in this case no State case has been established and no meaningful or relevant evidence came from the witnesses to support the charge.

The acquittal is Chisango's second in three weeks time after the High Court had acquitted him on another criminal abuse of office charge where he was accused of participating in the sale of a Mt Pleasant land.

However, two council officials Stanley Ndemera and Charles Kandemiri were convicted and were given six years each for criminal abuse of office.

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