ZVIMBA District Rural Council chief executive officer, Peter Hlohla and his accomplice former town planner Takura Mabaya who are accused of fraud and criminal abuse of office were yesterday removed from remand.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The two, who appeared before magistrate Victoria Mashamba, were facing allegations of illegally allocating land for residential stands in Mt Hampden.
Hlohla (40) and former physical planner, Takura Mabaya (34) were arrested last Thursday and they gave the State notice that if it failed to provide a trial date on the next remand date they will apply for remand refusal.
They are represented by Dumisani Mtombeni.
However, the State unsuccessfully applied to have the matter postponed for a month but magistrate Mashamba removed the two from remand saying the State had been put on notice and agreed to give them a trial date.
Allegations are that on March 7, 2016 Zvimba RDC corruptly originated a letter signed by Mabaya for Hlohla to the secretary for State land in Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry requesting to be allocated an open space on Haydon Farm, Mt Hampden, for residential purposes.
The State alleges on March 7 that same year, the department of Physical Planning responded that change of use of the open space would contradict the layout plan, as Haydon Township was not yet fully developed, hence, the application for change of use was unsuccessful.
It is alleged on November 14, 2016 Hlohla and Mabaya corruptly sold the piece of land to Obrim Petroleum Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd.
The State alleges on December 20, the duo in apparent show of favour, applied to the Department of State Land for processing of title deeds for the same stand, and with the help of a Local Government ministry official, acquired a fraudulent title deed.
They allegedly forged the signature of the deputy director State land to facilitate issuance and granting of the deed.
Records show that the land is owned by the State as a public open space and has not been handed over to Zvimba council.
The State alleges Hlohla and Mabaya did not get approval to sell the stand.
Mabaya is also charged separately on fraud after he allegedly converted $300, which he got from council to purchase a laptop.
Linda Gadzikwa appeared for the State.