High Court judge Justice Amie Tsanga has exonerated eight former City of Harare top officials criminal abuse of office charges involving more than $32 million. Tsanga ruled that the actions of the former city officials were motivated by the need to address a serious cholera crisis.
Justice Tsanga, however, found the evidence presented by the state inadequate to warrant the conviction of the accused. She said:
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We (judge and assessors) do not believe that any evidence of a conclusive nature was presented to show that they (Mahachi and others) were motivated by the intention to abuse their public office when they obtained the resolution in the defective manner that they did. There may sometimes be a thin line between inefficiency and abuse of office.
That there was a cholera outbreak is not in dispute and that its source was waterborne is equally not in dispute. While a cholera outbreak had occurred in 2008 and was at its peak in 2009, it is also a fact that unless the sewerage concerns were addressed, cholera remained a deadly threat.