City council employee purchases Land Cruiser Prado using council levies
Service and sanitary services around the city of Harare were severely curtailed after a Harare City Council senior executive member transferred US$130,000 belonging to council into his personal account before purchasing a US$119,000 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.
Former Harare City Council Human Capital Director Cainos Chingombe was arraigned before a Harare magistrates’ court on Monday facing charges of criminal abuse of duty by a public officer, alternatively theft of trust property.
It is the State’s case that on the 30th of October 2014, the accused person working in collusion with executive employees of Harare City Council transferred money into his personal bank account from the Traditional Beer Levy account.
The account exists in terms of the Traditional Beer Act.
The Act provides that the levies must only be used for the welfare of the community and the levy shall only fund the provision of services which include water, health, education and other relation interventions.
Prosecutors told the court that Chingombe caused the illegal transfer of US$130,000 from the Traditional Beer Levy Account into his personal bank account.
He then purchased a Land Cruiser Prado for US$119,000 without the relevant ministerial approval of city council resolution and pocketed the difference.
He purchased the top of the range vehicle, flouting the provision of the city of Harare procurement supply chain system which stipulates that council vehicle procurement exceeding US$10,000 must be acquired through tender.
The offence came to light when the then minister of Local Government ordered a compliance audit on city of Harare.
The action of Chingombe is not consistent with his duties and not in sync with Harare City Council policy directives, prosecutors alleged.
The court heard that Chingombe chose to prioritise the fulfilment of personal desires by purchasing a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado ahead of service delivery resulting in the collapse of sanitary services and critical essential services around the city of Harare.
This was a clear testimony of abuse of authority, the State said.
Chingombe is currently remanded in custody with his bail hearing currently on-going at the Harare Magistrates’ Court.