Chitungwiza Mayor Lovemore Maiko allegedly recommended the demotion of the council’s district officer who had been seconded to a ministerial taskforce, which was investigating the misappropriation of State and council land.
Tendai Chinganga, the district officer for Zengeza district, was reportedly reassigned to a non-existing post of revamping council libraries and halls, after Maiko presided over a meeting that recommended the reassignment, without following procedure.
Further to that, the State alleged that Maiko caused the elevation of Alex Mukwewa from being a housing administrator to housing manager, a post which had been frozen.
Mukwewa has a pending criminal abuse of duty as a public officer charge and should have been on suspension.
Maiko yesterday appeared in court before regional magistrate, Ms Estere Chivasa, charged with criminal abuse of duty.
He was remanded in custody to today for bail application.
Mr Alec Muchadehama is acting on his behalf, while Mr George Manokore is representing the State.
Allegations are that on October 27, Maiko learnt that the Chitungwiza Municipality public works committee had resolved to refer the re-assignment of Tendai Chinganga to a non-existing post of revamping council libraries and halls.
On the same date, the State alleged that Maiko disregarded the need for the general purpose committee to deliberate on the matter and hurriedly arranged for a special council meeting without the support of a third of full council or receiving in writing from at least six councillors the urgent need for such meeting knowingly and intentionally disregarding a section of the Urban Council’s Act.
He then directed Mr Godwin Mvere, the chief security officer, to place a notice for the meeting with only two items listed on the agenda.
It is alleged that the following day and a few hours before commencement of the meeting, Maiko directed Mvere to come up with a supplementary agenda where he directed that although not appearing on the agenda, as provided in notice for meeting, the reassignment of Chinganga should top the list of urgent items for discussion in the special council meeting.
He further directed Mvere to include, among other things, the elevation of Mukwewa from the post of housing administrator to housing manager.
Maiko knew that Mukwewa was on trial at the court on a charge of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer. He had allegedly committed the offence while he was the acting housing director of the Chitungwiza Municipality.
By adding matters for discussion in the meeting, Maiko disregarded section 83 (4) of Urban Councils Act chapter 29:15.
He allegedly presided over the meeting and went on to recommend the reassignment of Chinganga and promoted Mukwewa to an already frozen position of housing manager.
According to the State, Maiko’s actions were a deliberate effort meant to disfavour Chinganga who had been seconded by the Chitungwiza Municipality into a ministerial taskforce which was investigating the misappropriation of State and council land.
In addition, he favoured Mukwewa who should have been on suspension pending hearing before the courts.
It was not his duty to unfreeze the post, the court heard.