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Council boss fights back

BY TINASHE KAIRIZA

SUSPENDED City of Harare director of works Zvenyika Chawatama, who is facing fraud and abuse of office charges in court, has filed a complaint with ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga against the investigating officer Gilbert Manyore alleging perjury and fraud, legal papers seen by the Zimbabwe Independent show.

Chawatama, who earlier this year was locked in a turf war with suspended Town Clerk Hosiah Chisango, was dragged to court on April 6. He was denied bail on initial appearance.

According to the complaint furnished to the police boss on May 6, 2021 prepared by Zinyengere Rupapa Legal Practitioners, Chawatama contends that Manyore leveraged on two “fraudulent” witness statements to mislead the court, resulting in him being denied bail.

Chawatama highlights that the witness statements obtained from acting-Harare mayor Stewart Mutizwa and acting-Town Clerk Bossman Marufu were not authentic.

At the heart of Chawatama’s complaints, his legal representatives claim that Manyore, “admitted that he authored those statements and the witnesses never authored or signed them.”

The court document reads: “Our client (Chawatama) is employed by the Harare City Council as the director of works. On April 6, Gilbert Manyore completed a request for remand in the said case (ACC 57/2021) and arraigned our client before the Harare Magistrates Court.  He was opposed to his bail…

“Our client wishes to note a formal complaint against Manyore on the following basis. The two statements supposedly by the complainants/witnesses were fraudulent. They are purportedly signed by the witness when in fact and at law they are not signed by the two witnesses.”

Chawatama’s legal representatives further submit to Matanga that Manyore perjured “himself in court when he testified that he had already recorded two witness statements when he fully knew that it was incorrect”.

The range of perjury allegations, as submitted by Chawatama to Matanga also state that Manyore twisted evidence in court so that the HCC director of works could be denied bail.

“He (Manyore) went further to perjure himself in court when he testified that he had already recorded two witness statements when he fully knew that it was incorrect. This he did notwithstanding he was testifying under oath,” the complaint document seen by this publication this week reads.

“In so doing, he swayed the court into denying our client bail and he was incarcerated at Harare Prison from April 8 to April 23 when he was released after obtaining bail at the High Court.”

Pursuant to that, Zvenyika Rupapa Legal Practitioners, acting on behalf of Chawatama, advised him to lodge a formal criminal report against Manyore.

Wrote Zvenyika Rupapa Legal Practitioners: “We have since advised our client to make a formal criminal report against the errant member and the same was made at Harare Central Police on May 3, 2021.

“In all circumstances, the accused member has shown great resentment to our client, conducted himself in a partisan and unprofessional manner with spite and partiality, successfully caused our client’s unlawful detention premised on his falsehoods…”

Chawatama also highlights that Manyore had acted unprofessionally resulting in “his suffering.”

“We believe his (Manyore) uncouth and deceitful conduct does not resemble the values for which the force stands for.

“He had no lawful right to act in the corrupt and unprofessional manner he did,” the legal documents seen by the Independent read.

As a result, Chawatama’s lawyers implored Matanga to investigate Manyore.

“It is our client’s wish to have GM (Gilbert Manyore) investigated as he has violated our client’s right through his deceit.”

Accompanying the complaint letter, Chawatama’s lawyers also furnished Matanga with the request for remand document signed by Mutizwa.

The lawyers also attached the witness statements which they claim were falsified by Manyore.

Manyore is yet to file his responses in court.

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