via Minister’s bribery trial postponed – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 20, 2015
THE trial of Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister, Advocate Martin Tafara Dinha, on charges of public abuse of office and soliciting a $60 000 bribe from Centenary farmer Guy Frank Dollar, failed to kick off at the High Court yesterday as the State had not furnished the defence with the relevant court papers.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Dinha (53), who is alleged to have demanded and received part of the bribe money after assuring Dollar that he would retain his Tzoro Farm although it had been compulsorily acquired by the State.
The trial is now set to be heard this Friday before High Court judge Justice Happious Zhou.
Dinha is out on $1 000 bail.
State allegations are that sometime between 2012 and 2013, Dollar clashed with newly-resettled farmers who had been allocated A2 plots on the farm and Dinha received the report through Muzarabani district administrator Saineti Madzamba.
The State alleges, Dinha then advised Madzamba that Dollar was supposed to pay a $60 000 bribe in order to secure his farm.
However, because of the alleged illegitimate pressure exerted upon him, Dollar is alleged to have sourced the money which was later paid to Dinha on March 28, 2013.
The State alleges, on the day in question, Madzamba was driven to Dinha’s house in Bindura by Dollar’s employee, one Shelton Chiparausha Chinyere, to hand over the said money, but when they got to Dinha’s house they were told he was not available since he had gone to China.
Efforts to get in touch with Dinha were made by Dollar, who was then allegedly instructed to hand over the cash to one Tsitsi Nyika.
On the same day, the State alleges, Dinha’s wife phoned Nyika and instructed her to deposit $40 000 into Dinha’s POSB account. On April 17 of the same year, Dinha allegedly made a transfer of $30 000 into his other POSB account.
The State further alleges, on various occasions between April 2013 and July 15 this year, Dinha made several withdrawals, leaving a balance of only $1 012.
In his statement to the police, Dollar claims he later personally met Dinha who thanked him for the money. Dinha allegedly indicated that he had passed on the money to an unnamed “higher authority”.