Former Mutare City director, Mapurisa acquitted  

FORMER Mutare City Council’s housing and community services director, Sternard Mapurisa and four other ex-employees of the local authorities have been absolved of any criminal abuse of office conduct by a Mutare magistrate.

Mapurisa, Gorden Nyamingura, Masitemba Sithole, Rophina Nyamangodo and Golden Mahlanza were jointly charged with criminal abuse of duty as defined in Section 174 (1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9: 23.

It was the State’s case led by Mutare District prosecutor, Tirivanhu Mutyasira that during the period when the crime was committed, Mapurisa (68) was employed by City of Mutare as the housing and community services director.

The court heard that during the period extending from March 2014 to October 2016, and at City of Mutare Offices, Mapurisa being the housing and community services director, Nyamingura (housing officer), Sithole (acting housing officer), Nyamangodo (housing officer and Mahlanza (finance officer), in the exercise of their functions as the allocation committee acted contrary to or inconsistent with their duties by intentionally allocating Stand Number 26485 Area 3, Dangamvura Extension, measuring 278 square metres at a cost of US$5 560 to Mellisa Ropafadzo Musunzuru who was a minor, hence an undeserving applicant.

Mapurisa’s duties among others during that time were to; participate in the formulation of the council’s strategic plan, execute the strategic vision for the department, monitor and evaluate the implementation plan, administer the council’s housing policy, allocate stands and manage the property cessions, administer and allocate council’s rented accommodation, advise the council and the committee responsible for housing and community services, implement council’s resolutions, formulate and implement systems and procedures for housing allocations, enforce council’s by-laws and Acts that deal with housing and maintain the council’s waiting list.

However, Mutare regional magistrate, Phatekhile Msipa’s basis of acquittal was that what they ex-council officers did was more of administrative blunders which were supposed to be solved by labour laws rather than a criminal court.

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