Zimbabwe: Top Council Officials Acquitted of Corruptly Recruiting Cashiers

TWO Chegutu Municipality senior officials have been acquitted on charges of corruptly recruiting four roving cashiers.

The council’s human resources manager, George Kasamu, and revenue accountant Blandina Kavhayi were this Tuesday cleared of abuse of office charges when they appeared before Chinhoyi Magistrate Shepherd Munjanja.

Preferred charges emanated from Section 174 which reads:”(1) If a public officer, in the exercise of his or her functions as such, intentionally; (a) does anything that is contrary to or inconsistent with his or her duty as a public officer; or (b) omits to do anything which it is his or her duty as a public officer to do.

In his ruling passed following the application for discharge at the close of State case filed by defence lawyers Tapson Dzvetero and Fortune Murisi, presiding magistrate said the court had failed to establish a prima facie case against accused persons, who according to witnesses had diligently executed their duties.

Munjanja outlined a total of 12 candidates were shortlisted for the cashier posts, but only four out of the required six were recruited which was a sign that the meticulous vetting had disqualified the rest as unsuitable.

The court also heard recruitment was targeting six and not three cashiers as alleged.

Munjanja ruled the head-hunting process was above board.

Kasamu and Kavhayi were arrested in March 2022 by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officers on several allegations including abuse of office, sexual harassment, nepotism and tax evasion.

According to the State outline, Kasamu flouted recruitment procedures on two occasions in an effort to accommodate his relatives.

Court heard in the first incident, he deliberately employed a municipal officer (name supplied) without five ‘O’ Levels when the advert clearly stated that all candidates must have at least five ordinary levels.

On the second occasion, Kasamu allegedly violated a council resolution that stated that only three roving cashiers should be recruited. Instead, the HR manager went on to recruit four people, once again in an effort to accommodate another candidate who is the daughter of his friend (names supplied).

Kavhayi was jointly charged with Kasamu for abuse of office in the recruitment process for allegedly signing papers confirming the appointments after interviews.

Meanwhile, Kasamu will be back in court facing charges of misrepresenting figures of senior managers’ rentals and school fees benefits for tax purposes, thereby evading tax, prejudicing the Government of millions of dollars since 2014.

Marceline Mudzongo prosecuted.


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