By Mary Taruvinga
FORMER Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) board chairperson, Albert Mugabe (41) was Monday dragged to court on allegations of advancing the parastatal’s chief executive officer, Nancy Masiyiwa-Chamisa with a $300 000 loan without board approval.
Mugabe appeared before Harare magistrate Vongai Guuriro Muchuchuti facing criminal abuse of office charges.
He was represented by his lawyer, Admire Rubaya and was remanded out of custody on $500 bail. He will be back in court April 11.
The complainant in the case is ZINARA acting board chairperson Wilfred Ramwi.
Allegations are that on March 30, 2017, the ZINARA Human Resources Committee deliberated through a round robin resolution, the acquisition of a mortgage loan from CBZ in respect of Masiyiwa.
“The six-member human resources committee unanimously resolved to recommend to ZINARA board for approval to secure a mortgage loan scheme not exceeding $300 000 with CBZ bank for the purpose of housing loan benefits as per their human resources policy manual,” prosecutor Sebastian Mutizirwa.
“On April 2017, the accused wrote a letter of undertaking for mortgage loan in respect of Masiyiwa to CBZ bank advising that ZINARA board had authorised Masiyiwa to enter into a housing loan scheme with CBZ bank.”
It is further alleged he also wrote that ZINARA undertook to pay off the mortgage facility if Masiyiwa’s contract was to expire with the mortgage loan still existing, well knowing that ZINARA had not approved the loan facility.
Court heard on April 11, the same year, Mugabe wrote another letter to CBZ advising that ZINARA Board had agreed to set off the $300 000 mortgage loan facility in the event that Masiyiwa accrued arrears and termination of her contract of employment when in actual fact, Mugabe well knew that the board had not authorised the setting off of Masiyiwa mortgage loan.
On April 2017, CBZ bank approved a $300 000 mortgage loan facility in respect of Masiyiwa and released it on the strength of the false letters of undertaking and set off, authored and tendered them to the financial institution by Mugabe.
“The accused person acted contrary or inconsistent with his duties as a public officer by authoring and tendering false letters of undertaking and set off of mortgage loan facility to CBZ bank without the approval of ZINARA board for the purpose of showing favour to Masiyiwa,” said the state.