By Prosper Dembedza
The trial of Registrar-General Clement Masango, who is facing two counts of criminal abuse of office charges, will start on November 26.
Masango is alleged to have instructed CMED to buy a double cab and six single cab pick-ups without Cabinet approval.
He is alleged to be using the vehicles at his farm.
Harare magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro Muchuchuti, who announced the trial date yesterday, ordered the State to furnish the accused’s lawyers with papers so that they can prepare for trial.
This was after Masango’s defence complained to the court that he had not yet received the State papers.
Prosecutor Mr Tafara Chirambira told the court that he will furnish the defence with the papers today.
It is the State’s case that sometime in October 2018, Masango sought authority from the permanent secretary in the ministry of Home Affairs, Mr Melusi Matshiya, to purchase vehicles for the Civil Registry department.
On October 29, the State alleged that Masango wrote a letter addressed to Mr Matshiya requesting authority to purchase two Toyota Land Cruisers 200LC vehicles to improve access to district registries and sub offices that had become inaccessible due to rugged terrain.
The State said the request was approved on November 5, but before the vehicles were purchased Matshiya reversed the approval through a letter written in November 2018 addressed to Masango citing a shift in Government policy regarding purchase of vehicles.
Masango allegedly acknowledged receipt of the letter and instructed the then chief accountant, Mr Ndamukanei Gota, to take note and comply.
The State alleges on January 18, 2019 Masango then unlawfully and corruptly originated a memorandum to Mr Gota, instructing him to facilitate initial document meant for purchase of Land Cruisers and transfer US$78 505 towards purchase of a Ford Ranger double cab and for purchase of five Isuzu Lite single cabs without cabinet authority and approval from the ministry.
Acting on the said instructions, Mr Gota wrote a letter to a branch manager at FBC Bank authorising him to make payments of US$78 505 to Duly’s Motors (Pvt) Ltd’s Stanbic Bank account meant for the purchase of the Ford Ranger Wild Track vehicle and a further US$95 291 was transferred to CMED FBC account for purchase of five Isuzu Lite single cabs.
The State also alleges that Masango further directed Gota to write a letter to CMED instructing them to purchase the said Ford Ranger from Duly’s Motors Pvt Ltd and it complied. A total of six vehicles were then subsequently delivered to the Civil Registry department. The Herald