Former Midlands Minister of State Jason Machaya was denied bail and remanded in custody till January 15, 2018 when he appeared before the Gokwe Magistrates Court facing charges of criminal abuse of office after he fraudulently acquired 1 000 residential stands from Gokwe Town Council and later resold them.
The complainant in the matter is the State represented by Officer-in-Charge CID Gokwe, Stanford Chimbunde. It is the State’s case that sometime in 2013, the Gokwe Town Council requested for 3 000 residential stands around Mapfungautsi Extension from the Local Government ministry and the request was granted.
Machaya, as chairperson of the provincial lands committee, allegedly made a request of commonage allocation from the 3 000 stands, which entitled him to receive 10% of the allocated stands in line with the Commonage Law. The State alleges that between 2011 and 2017, Machaya demanded 1 000 residential stands when he knew he was supposed to get 300.
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Machaya allegedly hired a private land developer, Striations World Marketing Property Developers, to service the stands. On December 20 this year, police detectives interrogated Gokwe town engineer Clemence Madondo, who confirmed that they had allocated 1 000 stands to Machaya after he demanded them.