Former Harare Mayor and co-accused deny charges as corruption trial continues

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By Erica Jecha

FORMER mayor Herbert Gomba and Harare City Council (HCC) denied abuse of office charges as their corruption trial started at the High Court recently.

Gomba, together with HCC Acting Finance Director Stanley Ndemera, HCC Town Clerk Hosiah Chisango, and HCC Acting Chamber Secretary Charles Kandemiri appeared before High Court Judge, Justice Pisirayi Kwenda.

The trial was postponed to November 22.

The officials are being accused of authorising the sale of a stand belonging to Mount Pleasant Golf Club.

Court heard that sometime in August 2019, while still as mayor, Gomba allegedly used his authority to initiate a stand sale in Vainona Township to Hardspec Investments while it was under a lease agreement to Mt Pleasant Sports Club.

He then instructed Ndemera, his then subordinate, to meet Hardspec representatives Mavis Madzivanzira and Pauline Gutsa to show them the stand in question and prepare an agreement of sale.

Gomba is also accused of further instructing councillor Luckson Mukunguma, who was the chairperson of the finance committee, to have the stand issue discussed in a full council meeting.

The council meeting was held and it approved the sale to Hardspec Investments.

However, denying the allegation, Ndemera claimed to have followed the correct procedures before the agreement of sale was made.

He argued that he only met the Hardspec representatives for negotiations after the sale had been confirmed, adding that he was trying to ensure that payment was confirmed.

Ndemera said the full council meeting occurred months before the sale of the stand was confirmed and that they had not favoured Mt Pleasant Sports Club because it had not shown any interest in the stand.