Ex-Harare bosses prepare defence

Source: Ex-Harare bosses prepare defence | Daily News

FORMER members of a short-lived Harare City Council commission facing criminal abuse of office charges have demanded further particulars to adequately prepare their defence case.

Michael Mahachi, Sekesai Makwavarara and ex-City of Harare town clerk Tendai Mahachi are accused of corruptly contracting Augur Investments to undertake the $80 million Airport Road rehabilitation project which was meant to be completed in 2010.
The three demanded council minutes resolutions from 2007 till 2018.

Prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga consented to the application but indicated that the required documents were not relevant as they are not mentioned in the charge sheet and State outline.
Macharaga said preliminary checks indicate that the required documents do not exist, and have taken the formal route of acquiring the documents.

Presiding magistrate Elijah Makomo said he will make a court order on April 10 should the investigating officer fail to access the particulars.

Allegations are that on May 21, 2008, the City of Harare entered into a memorandum of agreement with Augur Investments, a foreign company purportedly based in Ukraine.
Tendai and Michael Mahachi allegedly connived with Makwavarara and signed the agreements on behalf of City of Harare and Augur Investments, which was represented by Kenneth Sharpe and Olexandr Sheremet.

According to the agreement, Augur Investment was to fund the project while the City of Harare was to cede land to the company in lieu of the work done.

Title deeds were to be transferred to Augur Investments and be held in trust by Messrs Coghlan Welsh and Guest law firm pending transfer upon certification of work done.
However, acting in connivance with Michael, Tendai allegedly corruptly appointed Augur Investments to undertake the upgrading of Airport Road without inviting competitive bids for the project.
Augur Investments was allegedly not registered in the country at the time and was only registered in 2010 after the contract expired.

It is alleged that Augur Investments did not complete the project as it did not have the capacity to handle the project of such magnitude.

It is alleged that due to their actions, the City of Harare was prejudiced of $80 million.