A City of Harare employee on Monday appeared before Harare Magistrate Stanford Mambanje charged with criminal abuse of office after she illegally parceled out council land to a private school in Budiriro.
Mutero is employed by the City of Harare as the Principal Estates Officer.
The court heard that Mutero’s duties among others include effective lease management, valuation, estate management and disposal of Council land while in compliance with City of Harare Standard Operations Procedures, Valuers Act and the Urban Council’s Act (Chapter 29:15).
The state alleges that sometime in 2013, City of Harare allocated on lease, commercial stand number 5420 Budiriro Township, Harare which had been reserved for a Council Primary School to a company named Southern Cross (Pvt) Ltd whose directors are Effort and Necca Zaranyika.
In 2016, the company’s lease agreement was terminated after they failed to adhere to the terms of the lease by not paying the monthly rentals over a prolonged period of time.
On 1 June 2016, the accused unilaterally and without a Council resolution connived with Tendai Kwenda, and proceeded to offer the stand in issue for sale to the company for USD1 606 550.00, despite the fact that its lease had been cancelled for non-adherence with the lease terms.
Accused person in furtherance of their unlawful act which was contrary to her duties as a Public Officer and without the knowledge of Council went on to give an instruction to one Mashonganyika of Revenues Division to open a Sundry Account on the 28 June 2016. This was done in order to facilitate the payment of intrinsic value or purchase price of the land upon sale by Council, however accused did that without Council Resolution.
The accused’s actions were in conflict with City of Harare Standard Operating Procedure which provides that a sale of commercial stands require a council resolution. The accused’s actions were intended to show undue favor to Southern Cross (Pvt) Ltd.
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