Former Midlands Provincial Affairs minister, during the reign of the late former President Robert Mugabe, Jason Machaya, on Friday said he was being politically persecuted, arguing that corruption allegations against him were “cooked up”.
Machaya is co-charged with the ex-Midlands provincial planning officer, Chisainyerwa Chibururu, for criminal abuse
of office, after they allegedly acquired fraudulently stands in the Mapfungautsi residential area of Gokwe. Machaya said:
It came as a surprise to me that housing projects in the Midlands that I led much to the satisfaction of my principals, including the President (late Robert Mugabe), were now used years later to incriminate me.
It is against this background that I can only conclude that there is politics at play. I benefited nothing as an individual for carrying out government housing projects.
The state alleges that 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 law of commonage.
He was therefore entitled to 300 stands but he requested 1 000 residential thereby prejudicing Gokwe of the revenue it was supposed to get from the sale of 700 stands.
Provincial magistrate Charity Maphosa said she would deliver judgment on July 30 after the defence counsel closed its case at the end of the trial yesterday.