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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
HomeNewsHealth Services Commission Official In Court Over US$600 Bribe

Health Services Commission Official In Court Over US$600 Bribe

Health Services Commission Legal Manager and lawyer, Wilson Matsika has been arrested on allegations of demanding US$1,000 bribe from an expelled employee who was fighting to be reinstated into the company. Matsika, 35, briefly appeared before Harare Magistrate Stanford Mambanje facing extortion.

He was not asked to plead but was granted US$100 bail. Godwin Takaniwa was dismissed from work in September 2022 on misconduct allegations. Following his dismissal, Takaniwa initially appealed against the decision of the disciplinary committee but was not successful. He then filed an appeal through the Labour Court where he eventually won the case.

Matsika, according to prosecutors, saw this as an opportunity to facilitate his readmission on condition he received the bribe money.

“Whilst the case was at the Labour Court, accused person invited the complainant to his office and offered to help him with the matter that was before the court so that he can get his job back. “In return, the complainant was to offer some considerations in the form of money.

“However, the complainant turned down the offer from the accused,” prosecutors said. On the 19th of February 2024, the Labour Court ordered his reinstatement without loss of salary and benefits.

However, after the court’s decision, Matsika allegedly refused to reinstate Takaniwa and instead continued to demand the bribe so he could approve his reinstatement. He also allegedly claimed that the US$1,000 would be a token paid in appreciation of the company electing not to file an appeal against the Labour Court’s judgement.

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Takaniwa, agitated by the relentless demands, then reported the matter to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission which initially attempted to set a trap using US$300 cash. Matsika allegedly turned down the amount claiming it was too little. The two met a few days later, and Matsika offered to withdraw the appeal he had filed at the Supreme Court on the condition he was paid US$1,000.

The parties reportedly ended up agreeing that Takawira would initially pay US$600 and settle the balance at a later stage.

Matsika was later caught by undercover ZACC officers who witnessed him receiving the US$600 bribe money.

He returns to court on May 10 for his routine remand.

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