Two more people – the deputy director of valuations and estate management in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Rejoice Pazvakavambwa (43) and the registrar of valuers Lazarus Chimba (70) – have been arrested on allegations of facilitating the transfer of council property worth $900 000 into ex-Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo’s name.
Chombo’s alleged underhand dealings at council also sucked in former Harare City town planner Psychology Chiwanga. Chombo appeared in court last week before magistrate Mr Elisha Singano and was remanded in custody to December 8. He has since appealed to the High Court for bail. The appeal is still pending.
Chiwanga appeared before Ms Josephine Sande, who remanded him in custody to the same date, while Pazvakavambwa and Chimba appeared before the same magistrate yesterday. They are accused of violating Section 4(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 9:16) and were remanded in custody to today for continuation of bail application.
They are being represented by Messrs Admire Rubaya and Joel Mambara. It is the State’s case that the duo acted in connivance with Chombo, Chiwanga, Iben Francisco, James Chiyangwa, Theresa Chenjerayi and Elias Choto.
Prosecuting, law officer Mr Edmore Nyazamba alleged that on a date unknown to the State, Chimba wrote a document dated June 13, 2008 to the City of Harare, indicating that he had no objection to a double transfer of a property in Glen Lorne to Aloise Chimeri. He also did not object to Chimeri being given title deeds of the said property, which had been illegally acquired and was sold to him by Chombo.
According to the State, Chimba also influenced Harare City Council to illegally get compensation of the said piece of land, which had been sold by Chombo. Pazvakavambwa, it is alleged, authored another document on June 25 of the same year addressed to City of Harare, confirming that the property had been sold to Chombo.
She further instructed Francisco to transfer the property into Chombo’s name, the court heard. It is further alleged by so doing, Chimba and Pazvakavambwa acted contrary to and inconsistent with their duties as public officers as their actions had the effect of showing favour to Chombo and Chimeri.