BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
THE High Court trial of former Harare mayor Herbert Gomba and three council officials on graft charges failed to kick off yesterday and was deferred to March 14.
Gomba, who is being charged together with suspended town clerk Hosea Chisango, finance director Stanley Ndemera and Charles Kandemiri, was expected to stand trial before High Court judge Justice Pisirai Kwenda.
The four are accused of criminal abuse of office after they allegedly illegally sold the Mt Pleasant Golf Course.
Their lawyer Harrison Nkomo has filed a notice for an application for exception to the charges, which will now be heard on March 14.
Allegations are that in August 2019, Gomba unlawfully used his position as the mayor to offer stand number 402 Vainona Township, Harare, for sale to Hardspec Investments (Pvt) Ltd, which was being represented by Mavis Madzivanzira and Pauline
Gomba allegedly unlawfully instructed council officials, including Ndemera, who was acting finance director, to go and meet Mandzivanzira and Gutsa so that they could be shown the portion of stand 402 Vainona, Harare, which they wanted to buy.
Gomba allegedly told Ndemera to prepare a report recommending the outright sale of the stand.
The sale was approved by the full council of September 5, 2019, yet the sale to Hardspec Investments Pvt Ltd had been concluded the previous day.
The stand was sold for $23 923 340 yet Mt Pleasant Sports Club was quoted US$2,3 million for the same stand.
It is alleged Chisango and Kandemiri played a part in the sale of this stand.