Machaya’s appeal for acquittal flops

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By Mary Taruvinga

HIGH Court judge, Pisirayi Kwenda has dismissed an application for review filed by former Midlands Governor, Jaison Machaya who was challenging a ruling by Gweru magistrate, Charity Maphosa trashing his application for discharge.

Machaya is facing criminal abuse of office after he allegedly unlawfully diverted for personal benefit, over 1 000 stands which Gokwe Town Council had allocated to the Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development.

The magistrate ruled that the former government official had a case to answer and should proceed to defence case.

On Wednesday, Kwenda also ruled that there was no need for him to interfere with Maphosa’s ruling.

“There is no likelihood of any harm befalling the applicants which cannot be corrected by way of appeal or review after judgment by the trial court,” said the judge.

He added, “I am not persuaded that there are compelling reasons to interfere with the trial which is still in progress. In the result, I order as follows; this application be and is hereby dismissed,” Justice Kwenda said in his judgment.

Machaya is jointly charged with former Midlands Provincial Planning Officer, Chisainyerwa Chibururu and they were the applicants in the matter.

The state alleges that the two connived to offer and divert land to a company known as Striation World Marketing (Pvt) Ltd which in turn sold the stands to members of the public.

Machaya and his accomplice applied for acquittal when the state closed its case last year.

Maphosa, the presiding magistrate dismissed their application for discharge resulting in them approaching the High Court seeking review of the ruling by the magistrate.

Kwenda ruled that the magistrate was correct in finding out that the two had a case to answer.

The two will now proceed to their trial.