By Mary Taruvinga
FORMER Harare City council acting director of housing Matthew Marara has been dragged to court on criminal abuse of office charges.
Marara was granted $5 000 bail when he appeared before Harare magistrate.
He was remanded to July 5 for his routine remand.
Marara is being accused of changing open spaces without approval from the authorities.
Allegations are that Marara, in connivance with Aaron Tayerera who is already on remand, came up with a fake lay out plan in respect of a stand number 277 in Borrowdale suburb and subdivided it to come up with 7 residential stands without both the knowledge and approval of the City of Harare.
It is alleged from November 2016 to December 2016, Marara and Tayerera allocated the residential stands to cronies again without the knowledge his employer and Ministry of Local Government.
The State alleges the stands valued US$46 000 were corruptly allocated to one Moud Jena.
Investigations revealed that Jena had an offer letter that was generated by Marara and did not pay anything to the authority.
“Further investigations also revealed that Marara had a son with Jena and he is the one who funded the construction of the house,” the state said.
The court heard further heard that the other six stands were sold to Maureen Nyemba (ex-Mbare councillor), Philda Muringani, Thomas Ruziye, Clayton Mushati, Kudzai Chiara and Solomon Muchazondida.
It is alleged the beneficiaries were not on the city housing waiting list and all paid nothing.
It is also the State’s case that the accused acted contrary to his duties as a public officer.