BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
THE Chitungwiza Residents Trust (Chitrest) has accused police of protecting acting town clerk Evangelista Machona against prosecution for criminal abuse of office charges levelled against her last year.
Machona’s corruption case was reported to the Police Anti-Corruption Unit (Pacu) under case number ER156/20 by the Chitungwiza Residents and Ratepayers Association (CHIRRA) .
Speaking during a Transparency International Zimbabwe-organised workshop at the Chitungwiza Publicity House yesterday, Chitrest director Alice Kuvheya said Machona should have been relieved of her duties as acting town clerk since there was evidence implicating her in corruption.
“CHIRRA reported Machona for criminal abuse of office after a snap audit done at the council. Why is Pacu protecting her? We have the evidence (to prove she abused her office),” Kuvheya said. “She is not supposed to be a town clerk because of that. Why is it (police) not taking action?”
In response, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the residents’ representatives should make an effort to find out about the progress made in the investigations of the case before making unverified statements.
“We need to also find out if Chitrest and CHIRRA have ever visited CID [Criminal Investigations Department] headquarters before to get the finer details on the progress made in investigating the case. That’s the problem with people; they rush to raise allegations in the media. Did they ever visit Pacu to find out the progress made in investing the case? Did they ever go to the one in charge to get an update?” Nyathi asked. “They should go and see Assistant Commissioner Jealous Nyabasa at the CID headquarters. If they don’t get assisted, let me know.”
However, CHIRRA chairperson Arthur Taderera told NewsDay that he had visited Pacu offices several times to seek feedback on the matter.
Last year, Taderera alleged that Machona’s daughter Wadzanai Jenje withdrew interest in the land that had been allocated to her when the former head of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission was scheduled to investigate corruption in the town.
“Jenje claimed her money back, but it’s evident that the stand is still in her name. The way she was refunded was also not procedural,” Taderera said.
Jenje had allegedly paid $6 441,50 for the stand. Some of the corruption allegations levelled against Machona include paying $219 227 last year for a commercial stand 12078 in Nyatsime, measuring 72 839 square metres which was allocated to her in 2015 and was supposed to be paid for in United States dollars.