Council Official Accused Of US$1 Million Fraud Denied Bail

Harare City Council (HCC) human resources director, Mathew Marara, was denied bail on Thursday on charges of defrauding the municipality of over US$1 million. He will be back in court on July 15.

He initially appeared in court on Wednesday before Magistrate Vongai Guuriro, facing corruption charges involving the illegal sale of 150 residential stands in Kuwadzana when he was HCC housing director.

As a result of his actions, the council was prejudiced of US$1 141 779.

Marara was charged with fraud or an alternative charge of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.

The State alleges that the offences were committed in 2017 and 2018 when Marara teamed up with 12 other people, among them Believer Mupawaenda and Rudo Pauline Chigocha who are attached to the Department of Housing, and Margret Sarudzai George, who is with the Department of Works. Prosecutor George Manokore said:

They reportedly identified open spaces in Kuwadzana 3, 4, 5 and 6 without an application for change of land use, they then created fictitious pay schemes and fraudulent layout plans.

The plans were presented as if they had been approved by the council and were used to facilitate water connections and account creation in the municipal finance system.

Mupawaenda, Chigocha, and George have since appeared in court facing similar charges and are out on a $1 000 bail each.


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