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No bail for ‘flight-risk’ Gokwe town secretary… magistrate rules

By Freedom Mupanedemo

Gokwe town secretary Melania Mandeya, who is facing charges of abuse of office, was on Monday denied bail. Gokwe magistrate Mr Musaiwona Shortgame ruled that Mandeya was facing serious charges and that she was a flight risk.

Gokwe Town Secretary, Melania Mandeya
Gokwe Town Secretary, Melania Mandeya

Mandeya, who is facing four counts of abuse of office, was represented by Mr Solomon Kangambeu of Chitere and Chidawanyika Legal Practitioners.

She was remanded in custody to February 14, but her lawyers said they would appeal.

Prosecutor Mr Michael Mhene said sometime in 2015, Mandeya deliberately gave her relative, one Ms Zvichapera Zunzanyika, a contract to supply curtains for Town House without following tender procedures.

On the second count, Mandeya allegedly invited tenders in March last year, for catering services whereupon about four firms provided quotations.

The court heard that Mandeya preferred one of the four, Irene’s Kitchen, and inflated figures on the other three bids and proceeded to award the tender to her preferred company without involving the procurement management unit.

In December 2017, Mandeya allegedly ordered the housing department to allocate her Stand 155 in Kambasha, which was adjacent to her official stand number 156.

She signed a lease agreement but never paid for it as stipulated in the lease agreement. The local authority was prejudiced of over $4 000.

The court heard that Mandeya also used her position to directly procure and order the installation of a solar system from Nerenchia Power Rite Company for the Town House.

Mandeya also reportedly used the same company to install a solar power system at her house.

It is the state’s case that Gokwe Town Council paid $325 435 for the services but could have saved a huge chunk of that amount had procedures been followed. The Herald