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Former Governor convicted

Former Midlands Governor Jason Machaya has been convicted by the Gweru magistrate court of abuse of office and will be sentenced today (Tuesday), his lawyer, Aleck Muchadehama has confirmed.

"Yes, he has been convicted and will be sentenced tomorrow," Muchadehama said.

"But even though, he denies the charges because he has all the documentation that proves that he was working on instructions from the late former President Robert Mugabe."

Machaya appeared before magistrate Charity Maphosa today (Monday) seeking to postpone his case to a later date because of his ill-health, but instead, she proceeded to deliver judgement, convicting him with his co-accused, Chisainyerwa Chibururu the former Midlands provincial planning officer.

The two, who will remand in custody, will appear in court today for sentencing.  

They have been convicted of abuse of criminal office under section 174 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law Coordination and Reform Act.

The conviction was made despite Muchedehama disclosing the former minister's health condition who he said was suffering from hypertension, sugar diabetics and was operated on in July and because of his age, was suffering from fatigue, drowsiness and inability to concentrate in court.

According to the State, Machaya unlawfully diverted over 1 000 stands which Gokwe Town Council had allocated to the Local Government ministry as commonage.

He offered the land to a company known as Striation World Marketing (Pvt) Ltd for developing and selling the stands. The company was supposed to sell the land and pay commonage to the government from part of the proceeds, while retaining the other fraction to meet the development costs.

The company however did not service the land after it was invaded by Zanu PF youths. The land was handed back to Gokwe City Council.

The matter went full trial and the two applied for acquittal which was dismissed by High Court judge Pisirayi Kwenda arguing the two had an option to Appeal against the findings of the magistrate.

"There is no likelihood of any harm befalling the applicants (Machaya and Chibururu), which harm can be corrected by way of appeal or review after judgment by the trial court," Justice Kwenda ruled.

"I am not persuaded that there are compelling reasons to interfere with the trial which is still in progress. In the result I order as follows; this application be and is hereby dismissed."

But in denying the charge, Machaya said he was performing his duties as assigned by Mugabe, providing letters to prove his assertions. He claimed political victimization.

"We are going to challenge both the conviction," Muchadehama said.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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