Former Midlands Provincial Affairs minister, Jason Machaya, has denied wrongdoing over the questionable allocation of stands when he was still in office.
Machaya is facing charges of criminal abuse of office for unlawfully parcelling out land in the Midlands Province.
He argues that he was arrested for doing duties assigned to him by former President Robert Mugabe. Machaya argued:
When I was appointed Governor and Resident Minister, I found a national housing project in place. I simply took over what the late governor Cephas Msipa was doing.
Further, the President (Mugabe then) also gave me directives on how I was to do my work. In respect to the charges for which I was/am to be tried, President RG Mugabe specifically directed me to do my work as I did.
Further, I wrote detailed monthly reports in respect of all the works I am being tried for, to the President. I also reported my work to the President and Cabinet.
The President and Cabinet guided my work and approved everything that I did, especially issues to do with things that are in the charges.
The President who authorised me to do what I did is no longer in office. The State has not interviewed him or recorded a statement from him concerning my activities.
I challenge them to do so. My conduct was only adjudged unlawful in about January 2018 after the removal of President RG Mugabe, yet he authorised my work.
Is there a law for one government and another law for another government? How was I supposed to know that what I was doing was criminal when what I was doing was being directed and authorised?
Machaya made the remarks in his founding affidavit in his application to the High Court where he is seeking a review of his trial proceedings following the dismissal of his application for permanent stay of prosecution.