By Lovemore Meya
Suspended Chitungwiza mayor Philip Mutoti allegedly acquired a residential stand in the name of his three-year-old son which he later resold, the court heard yesterday.
Also appearing before Chitungwiza resident magistrate Mr Francis Mapfumo were the municipality’s former acting housing director Kennedy Dube and town clerk George Makunde for fraudulently awarding Mutoti the stand.
It is alleged that prior to making the application, Mutoti approached Makunde for authority to buy the stand and was granted. The complainant in the matter is the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing represented by its Permanent Secretary, Engineer George Mlilo.
The trio was charged with fraud or alternatively criminal abuse of duty as public officers. They were not asked to plead to the charges and were remanded to August 3 for trial.
The trio’s lawyers requested for a postponement of the matter, saying they wanted time to prepare the defence. Prosecutor Ms Tafadzwa Makwande is alleging that on July 2, 2015, Mutoti made an application to Dube for a residential stand measuring 200 square metres.
He said it was on behalf of his son Nathan who was then three years old. But before making the application, he approached Makunde and they discussed the issue.
Makunde allegedly gave Mutoti the green light to apply for the stand, even though his son was not on the waiting list. Mutoti, the court heard, lied that Nathan was self-employed and he was allocated stand number 26008 in Unit C, Chitungwiza.
Dube made the allocation ahead of 7 216 applicants on the waiting list. On September 15, it is alleged that Mutoti sold the stand to Patience Tandiwe Chimbwe.
Residents in St Mary’s got wind of the transaction and staged a demonstration at Mutoti’s council offices. The prosecution argues that the allocation of the stand to the minor was irregular. The Herald