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Felix Matasva

 

ACTING Mutare Town Clerk Anthony Mutara, who is facing a charge of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer, was Saturday granted $40 000 bail by a local magistrate.

 

He was arrested Friday by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission officers on allegations of corruptly recruiting his relatives and friends to fill job positions at Mutare Town House.

 

The town house boss Saturday appeared before Mutare Magistrate Langton Mukwengi at the Magistrate criminal court and was ordered to report once after a fortnight at Mutare Central Police Station’s CID section.

 

Mutara (57) was also ordered to continue residing at his given address and also not to interfere with state witnesses.

 

 

 

He was represented by his lawyer Hugo Tanaya of Tanaya Legal Firm and was not asked to plead to the aforementioned charge.

 

The state, represented by Sharon Chibvongodze, alleged that Mutara’s actions ran afoul with with his duties as a public officer, by showing favor to Geonor Ndlovu when he gave her the contract of employment without following recruitment procedures.

 

The state added that his actions were done at the expense of Council’s good administration and single handedly recommended as well as approving the contract and later signed the contract on behalf of the substantive Town Clerk Joshua Maligwa who had already died.

 

“On 4 December 2020, the then Town Clerk of Mutare City Council, Joshua Maligwa went on sick leave and decided to appoint the Finance Director Mr Chafesuka as the acting Town Clerk starting from 05 January 2021 to 05 February 2021. However Maligwa died on the 5th of January 2021. On the 8th of January 2021, the accused person authored a memorandum to the acting Town Clerk recommending for Ms Geonor Ndlovu to be contracted as a typist in the Health Department for the reason that his Personal Assistant A.C Ngwarati was on sick leave as she was not feeling well,” the court heard.

 

Furthermore, the court heard that Mutara attached a letter from his Personal Assistant which had his instructions, ordering Ngwarati to fill leave forms and also requested an employment contract of three months for Geonor Ndlovu from the acting Town Clerk.

 

“On Monday 11th January 2021, the Finance Director who was acting Town Clerk, also went on sick leave and he assigned the accused person to act as the Town Clerk, during the week.

 

“On the 12th of January 2021 and in his capacity as the acting Town Clerk, the accused offered Geonor Ndlovu a contract of employment as a general hand without going through the interview and selection process. The contract was effective from the 4th of January 2021 to 31st March 2021. The accused person then signed the contract on behalf of Joshua Maligwa, who had already died on the 5th of January 2021 while Geonor Ndlovu signed her contract on the 12th of January 2021,” the State further alleged.

 

Presiding magistrate Langton Mukwengi remanded Mutara matter to September 21 this year.

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