By Munyaradzi Musiiwa
Former Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Jason Machaya’s trial date has been set for September 27.
Machaya is facing various charges including abuse of office.
He appeared before Gweru Magistrate, Ms Charity Maphosa on Monday and is on $1 000 bail.
The former Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs is accused of intentionally allocating State land totalling 17 799 stands to land developers despite not having the powers to do so, since the allocation of such land is the sole function and lawful responsibility of the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
Machaya, the court heard, further received 1 791 commonage stands from the said land developers, which constituted 18 percent of the total stands on the allocated State land.
It is further alleged that he disposed of the 1 185 stands, which is inconsistent with his duties.
“Whereas commonage stands can only be allocated and distributed by the Minister of Local Government Public Works and National Housing.
“The accused person further allocated 192 commonage stands to Apostolic Christian Church of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) when he did not have lawful right or function,” the court heard.
Also facing similar charges are Mashonaland West provincial administrator Cecilia Chitiyo, Gweru district administrator and five other senior Government officials from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for Midlands province.
Chitiyo (50), who is the former PA for Midlands Province, is being accused together with Matilda Manhambo (59), Sherpard Marweyi (48), Sifelani Moyo (59), Ethel Mlalazi (65), Chisainyerwa Chibhururu (47) and Everest Nyamadzawo (33).
The accused persons are all on $200 bail.
It is the State’s case that Chitiyo, who was employed as the PA for Midlands province, allegedly intentionally allocated State land totalling 4 469 stands to land developers by co-signing the offer letters for the State land.
Manhambo, who is employed as the provincial projects officer by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for Midlands province, also allegedly intentionally allocated 2 000 stands to land developers.
Similarly, Marweyi, who is the District Administrator for Gweru, allegedly intentionally allocated 5 199 stands to land developers.