BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
Harare City Council finance director Tendai Kwenda yesterday appeared in court on criminal abuse of office charges after he allegedly used council funds to purchase his personal vehicle.
It is alleged that Kwenda transferred US$75 000 from the council beer levy account into his account and purchased a personal Jeep Cherokee motor vehicle without council approval.
Kwenda was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Ngoni Nduna, but was remanded in custody to December 24. His lawyer Joel Mambara said he would not apply for bail at the magistrates’ court, but at the High Court.
Kwenda was arrested a week after he was released at the court on the same charges by magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa, who said the charges were “meaningless and incomplete.
His co-accused when he was first arrested Cainos Chingombe, council human capital director, was also re-arrested early this week and was in custody for using council funds to purchase personal vehicles.
The State alleges that Kwenda did not follow the council procurement procedures that stipulate that council procurement exceeding $10 000 should be purchased through a tender process.
He purchased the vehicle for $97 500 and topped up $27 500 from his personal funds.
He insured the vehicle and demanded the money from council, which was reimbursed.
The accused was then involved in an accident with the Jeep and made an insurance claim from Old Mutual, and bought a Land Cruiser that he registered in is name.
The beer levy funds he used to purchase his personal vehicle with were not part of the general revenue of the local authority, but was to be used to fund the welfare of the community on provision of services such as health, water sanitation and others. Panganai Chiutsi appeared for the State.