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Former Minister freed from prison after serving sentence for corruption

Jason Machaya, who once served as the Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister, has completed his 30 months jail term at Wha-wha Prison and is now a free man. He was convicted of criminal abuse of office for illegally allocating thousands of residential stands in Gokwe town to land developers and demanding some for himself.

Commissioner Somemore Gate of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) confirmed to The Mirror that Machaya was released last week and did not benefit from the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

Machaya (71) and his accomplice Chaisayanyerwa Chibururu (53) were found guilty by Provincial Magistrate Charity Maphosa in September 2020. They had allocated 17 799 stands to land developers without following proper procedures and asked for 1 000 stands from Gokwe Town Council worth US$900 000. Machaya also gave 192 stands to a religious group without authority.

The State said that Machaya abused his powers between 2011 and 2017 and violated the Government policy that allows the Local Government Ministry to acquire only 10 per cent of the stands. He also imposed a land developer, Striations World Marketing Property Developers, to service and sell the stands without tendering.

He was sentenced to four years in prison, but 18 months were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar crime in two years.