By Matabeleland North Correspondent
HWANGE: A local magistrate here Wednesday acquitted Victoria Falls Town Clerk Ronnie Dube on alleged charges of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.
Dube was arrested some five months ago following allegations raised by mayor Somvelo Dlamini, who accused him of corruption, gross incompetence, abuse of office, and causing the local authority to lose revenue.
However, Magistrate Barbara Phiri acquitted Dube following submissions by the prosecutor that the state wanted to withdraw the charges before plea.
Dube had not been asked to plead to the charges and was out on $50 000 bail.
The state that he had misrepresented to the local council and caused the local authority to sell a commercial stand to Shearwater Adventures, a local tour operator in 2019 without following tender procedures.
It was being further alleged that on 28 September 2017, Dube received a request to purchase additional land behind stands 1381, 1382, 1383, 1384, 1385, 1386, and 943 from Ntokozo Mlilo, who is group human resources manager for Shearwater Adventures in Victoria Falls.
He allegedly caused for valuation of the stands by Backstone Properties who responded to him on 11 February 2019 with the value of the stand.
Dube was said to have misrepresented to an ordinary full council meeting that only one applicant Shearwater Adventures had expressed interest in commercial stand number 1782 yet there were other companies that had also expressed interest such as Wild Horizons.
The local council adopted Dube’s report and resolved to offer the stand to Shearwater Adventures without following tender procedures.