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Ex-town clerk’s $800k fraud case drags on

By Tarisai Machakaire

Former Harare town clerk Tendai Mahachi appeared in court yesterday for routine remand proceedings over a criminal abuse of office charge involving $800 000 emanating from the time he served council.

Tendai Mahachi
Tendai Mahachi

He was represented by Tapson Dzvetero when he appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Chimboza, who ordered him to return to court on June 8 pending finalisation of the matter.

The former Harare City Council boss is also embroiled in a multi-million dollar fraud scam in which he is accused of facilitating the awarding of $32 million worth of tenders to unregistered companies to rehabilitate sewerage plants at Firle and Crowbrough.

According to State papers, Mahachi was an ex-officio director of City Parking (Pvt) Limited, a subsidiary of City of Harare.

The court heard that in January 2014, Mahachi allegedly used his influence as town clerk and reportedly misrepresented to the city business committee that Shelstein Enterprises Pvt Ltd (Shelstein) was in the parking business, although he knew it was not.

It was alleged that Shelstein was then invited to make a presentation and reportedly misrepresented that it was the southern region sole franchise holder for Parx Global International (Parx), a company based in Israel which is into manufacturing and supplying of parking management equipment and software.

It is alleged they further misrepresented that they were able to provide state-of-the-art parking management systems from Parx at no cost to City Parking.

According to State papers, on March 7 2014, Mahachi allegedly influenced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between City of Harare — represented by him — and Shelstein, represented by Withus Masunda.

On May 20 that same year, seven councillors and Shelstein — represented by Tendai Matimba and Masunda — went to Israel for due diligence on Parx.

While in Israel, Matimba, through his company Cashless Payment Technologies, entered into a Memorandum of Agreement of franchise as the sole distributor in southern Africa for Parx Global Parking Management Systems.

The court heard that Mahachi also used his influence to recommend City Parking to enter into a joint venture partnership with Shelstein, knowing that the company was not in the said business, and that each partner should contribute $800 000.

On October 29, City Parking allegedly transferred $800 000 into Shelstein’s bank account. Daily News