Two Kwekwe magistrates court officials, Story Rushambwa and Bright Mpiyabo appeared before Harare magistrate Bianca Makwande yesterday on charges of criminal abuse of office after they allegedly facilitated the illegal release of three luxury vehicles one of which was suspected to have been stolen.
The two are accused of ordering the release of vehicles impounded by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) to controversial Kwekwe businessman Shepherd Tundiya, prejudicing government and Kwekwe police.
Tundiya was in the spotlight last year when he was acquitted on allegations coercing the director of JR Goddard Contracting (Pvt) Ltd James Goddard to withdraw a criminal abuse of office report he made against four members of the National Assembly.
Allegations are that sometime in November 2018, a Mercedes Benz was reportedly stolen from South Africa and then impounded by Kwekwe CID.
On 9 December 2019, Tundiya then made an exparte application seeking the release of the vehicle to him and on the same day the accused presided over the matter and granted an order that the vehicle be released unconditionally to the applicant.
The state is of the matter that the order issued by the accused was prejudicial to ZIMRA which has been impounding the stolen vehicle while favoring Tundiya.
The state is also insisting that the vehicle remains stolen property and in breach of import regulations of Zimbabwe.