By Moses Madyira | Masvingo Mirror |
A senior Zanu PF official and provincial executive member for Mash East, Moses Mataruse has been fingered in court as an accomplice in Chikomba District Development Coordinator (DDC) Michael Mariga’s US$150 alleged bribery case.
Mataruse allegedly pushed an official of a USA-based NGO “to do what the Romans do when in Rome” after a representative of the NGO showed reluctance to pay bribe.
Theresa Dangwa who represents Dangwa Initiatives Trust (DIT) told Provincial Magistrate Sam Chitumwa that she met Mariga at his offices after being taken there by Mataruse. Her mission was to sign a memorandum of understanding with the rural district council for DIT to operate in Chikomba.
The Mirror attended the court.
During the discussions, Mariga started demanding bribe of US$150 in order for him to sign the memorandum of understanding. Dangwa disagreed and then threatened to take her NGO elsewhere but Mariga allegedly bragged that he had 34 NGOs in the district and Dangwa’s organisation was not going to make a difference.
Mataruse then weighed in and allegedly told Dangwa to do what the Romans do when in Rome. This, according to Dangwa meant that she should join the corruption, The Mirror heard in court.
Mariga is now facing fraud charges after he was trapped by Police at Chikomba Rural District Council offices soon after he allegedly received US$60 bribe from Dangwa. Mariga is pleading not guilty.
“Mariga was angry when I refused to pay bribe and ordered me to take my NGO out of the district. At that point Mataruse interjected and told me to do what the Romans do when I am in Rome. He said it didn’t matter that I was a pastor, I needed to pay the bribe to get things done,” said Dangwa.
Because Dangwa was convinced that she should not pay the bribe she approached Chivhu CID who set a trap leading to Mariga’s arrest on November 17, 2021.
The case was postponed to February 2, 2022 as more witnesses will testify.