Ex-Zinara Board Chair Acquitted

Former Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) board chairman Albert Mugabe has been acquitted of criminal abuse of office charges.

Mugabe was cleared of the offence after magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube granted his application for discharge at the close of the State case.

Mr Admire Rubaya made an application for discharge, saying the State had failed to prove a case against his client.

He was being accused of approving a US$300 000 loan facility to former Zinara chief executive Mrs Nancy Chamisa-Masiyiwa sometime in 2017 without board approval.

In his ruling, Mr Ncube cited lack of enough evidence presented by the State that incriminated Mugabe.

Mr Ncube said the State should have called experts to forensically ascertain that the signatures used on the approval papers belonged to Mugabe.

He noted that the State should have had forensic assessment of the computers at Zinara to ascertain if the letters were typed at their offices.

He said there was a possibility of the letters having been forged since the then chief executive wanted to get a loan, but later proceeded to disown the letters which benefited her.

Mugabe was alleged to have authorised and tendered false letters of undertaking to set off a mortgage loan facility without his board’s approval.

It was the State’s case that on March 30, 2017, Zinara’s human resources committee deliberated on a resolution for the acquisition of a mortgage loan from CBZ Bank.

The loan was to be extended to former chief executive Mrs Nancy Chamisa-Masiyiwa.

The State had also alleged that the six-member human resources committee unanimously recommended to Zinara board for approval to secure a mortgage loan scheme not exceeding $300 000 with CBZ Bank for a housing loan benefit in line with Zinara’s policy manual.

On April 5 of the same year, Mugabe was said to have written a letter of undertaking for a mortgage loan to CBZ Bank for Chamisa-Masiyiwa.

The letters reportedly indicated that the Zinara board had authorised the former CEO to enter into a housing loan scheme with the bank.

Mugabe was alleged to have said that Zinara undertook to pay off the mortgage facility if Chamisa-Masiyiwa’s contract expired during subsistence of the mortgage loan.

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