THREE Zanu PF officials who forced beneficiaries of Operation Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle houses at Whitecliff Farm to withdraw fraud charges levelled aga
inst them were last week convicted of attempting to defeat the course of justice.
They were each sentenced to six months in prison.
However, Harare magistrate Lazarus Murendo suspended the jail sentence on condition that the Zanu PF officials, Passyway Mubaiwa (28), Nolia Ndhlovu (40) and Blasio Mauka (35), do not commit a similar offence in the next five years.
In addition, Murendo fined Mubaiwa $4 million, Ndhlovu $3 million and Mauko $2 million.
The three were convicted for violating provisions of the Criminal Law (Codification) and Reform Act.
Murendo acquitted Colleen Mgijima (40) — a commissioner of oaths — initially jointly charged with the trio.
The state case was that early last year, Mubaiwa, Ndhlovu and Mauka allegedly used their positions in Zanu PF to solicit bribes from settlers at Whitecliff Farm whose shacks were destroyed during Operation Murambatsvina in 2005 in exchange for houses built under Operation Garikai.
The trio were later arrested and while they awaited trial they forged affidavits they authenticated with Mgijima in September 2006, claiming that the complainants had withdrawn charges against them.
This led to their arrest.
Editor Mavuto prosecuted while Mubaiwa, Ndhlovu and Mauka were not legally represented.
In July last year, Harare provincial administrator Justin Mutero Chivavaya and Harare West district administrator Nelson Mawomo were arrested and arraigned in court facing allegations of corruptly allocating 300 houses and 115 stands to undeserving people at Whitecliff Farm
The two are still on bail awaiting trial.