Norton Town Council bosses in the dock over $28k fraud

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By Mary Taruvinga

FOUR Norton Town Council officials have been arrested after they allegedly swindled the authority out of $28 000 in a botched stands deal.

Council chairperson, Munyeveri Muchaneta (36), Councillor Eager Vupenyu Takawira (50) and two ex-employees Precious Mufahore and Blessing Mutyambizi all appeared before Harare magistrate, Rumbidzai Mugwagwa facing criminal abuse of office charges.

They were released on $100 bail each with stringent reporting conditions.

The quartet will be back in court on October 19 pending trial.

Prosecuting, Michael Reza said Mutyambizi was the director of housing and community services between 2008 and 2013.

It is alleged Mutyambizi authored the report which was allegedly used by the committee to make a resolution in question that caused a $28 000 prejudice to the council.

According to court papers, on April 1 2014, Mutyambizi connived with his accomplices to corruptly award themselves some residential stands which were given to council by Galloway Projects to settle rate arrears.

The quartet reportedly convened a meeting and Mutyambizi authored the report of the meeting.

The court heard that they resolved to allocate each other residential stands at concessionary rates.

It is further alleged that they used Local Authorities circular (1) of 2011 which had been previously used by Councillors Zinyemba, Nerutanga, and Mujedi.

The court heard that Muchaneta and his accomplices went on to allocate five residential stands to councillors who had previously benefited at 40 percent discount of the cost price.

The conduct prejudiced Norton Town Council $28 000 and nothing was recovered.