Former Harare city official in the dock for fraud

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By Erica Jecha

Former Harare City Council Chief Building Inspector Roy Nyabvure on Wednesday appeared in court answering to criminal abuse of office after he allegedly approved building plans against protocols.

Nyabvure (64) was arraigned before Harare magistrate Taurai Manuwere and was remanded in custody awaiting bail hearing.

His lawyer Tawanda Kanengoni had contested an application for postponement by the State, arguing that this would prejudice his client who suffers from High Blood Pressure.

The magistrate said there would be no prejudice if the matter was to be heard Thursday morning.

Prosecuting, Lancelot Mutsokoti alleged that on February 23, 2017 Nyabvure, and without following rules, approved a building plan for a stand submitted directly to him at Cleveland House by one George Katsimbires, who was representing Pokugara Properties (Pvt) Ltd sites.

The State alleges this was contrary to City of Harare procedures which required that plans be submitted through respective district offices.

Court heard Katsimbires went on to present the plan to Pokugara, misrepresenting that it had been duly approved.

Acting on this misrepresentation, Pokugara Properties went on to sanction the building of a house on the said stand.

It is alleged that after completion of the building, Pokugara Properties was served with a notice of demolition from City of Harare citing that the building was erected without an approved plan and had been built with material not approved by City of Harare.

The State alleges that the notice, dated 26 July 2018, demanded that the structure be demolished by the 30th of August 2018 and further notified them that financial penalties would be meted against the company for its alleged wrongful actions.

The company complied with the directive and demolished the structure.

According to the State, the demolition occasioned serious reputational and administrative prejudice to the company, prompting investigations to establish the circumstances surrounding approval of the plan.

Nyabvure was then fingered as the culprit behind the unprocedural processing of the plan.

The case was reported to the police, leading to his arrest.