Borrowdale official arrested over building plans

Source: Borrowdale official arrested over building plans | Herald (Africa)

Nyore MadzianikeSenior Court Reporter 

HARARE City Council district officer Netsai Kativhu yesterday appeared at Harare Magistrates Court on allegations of approving and recommending layout plans and granting permits to build, which was outside her duties and responsibilities.

Kativhu, who was stationed at Borrowdale council offices, appeared before regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje charged with criminal abuse of office over approvals made when she was at the Sunningdale office.

She was not asked to plead to the charges.

Kativhu challenged her placement on remand saying she never approved any plan as she was only restricted to receiving and transmitting them to Cleveland House where the approval was done. Through her lawyer, a Ms Gororo, she said that the events which led to her arrest occurred in 2018 at Sunningdale district offices where the allocations of stands were done.

“The alleged events took place before decentralisation and it is inconceivable that the accused person can be accused of any wrong doing when in actual fact the documentation was processed at Sunningdale offices. It is settled in this jurisdiction that placement on remand is like arrest without a warrant,” she said through her lawyer. 

The lawyer said her has no connection with owners of the stands and is not the only officer in the City of Harare with the responsibility of ensuring that stands are allocated to beneficiaries. 

She said all Harare stands were done at Sunningdale district offices and went to her client for onward transmission to Cleveland House. 

Mrs Netsai Mushayabasa, appearing for the State, told the court that there are documents that proved that Kativhu committed the alleged offence. She also told the court that Kativhu signed plans and recommended Maud Jena could build a house on her stand.

“There is reasonable suspicion which warrants her placement on remand. There are documents which show that she appended a signature as district officer. It was her duty to recommend plans for approval and process agreements of sale. It will be misleading to say she was restricted to clerical work. She was supposed to do due diligence before giving them to the director of works. She recommended a stand which she had not taken sight of.

“There is approval of permit document for development which she signed on September 4, 2018 for Maud Jena,” she said. Mr Mambanje is expected to make a ruling today.