Gweru Mayor, town clerk finally granted bail

Gweru mayor, Hamutendi Kombayi, his deputy, Artwell Matyorauta, and suspended Town Clerk, Daniel Matawu, sighed with relief as they were finally granted bail today.

Arrested last week ... Hamutendi Kombayi

Arrested last week … Hamutendi Kombayi

Magistrate Pathekile Msipa bailed Kombayi for $200, while Matyorauta and Matawu were asked to pay $100 each.

Kombayi and his colleagues are facing charges of criminal abuse of office arising from a government audit report carried by the Local Government ministry in July last year.

The trio are being accused of having  spent more than US$8 000 on former Prime Minister Mogarn Tsvangirai’a tours of the province last year. The majority of councillors scoffed at the charge, labelling it politically motivated.

The defence team led by Reginald Chidawanyika on Monday submitted that there were no compelling reasons to deny the trio bail, insisting they were law-abiding citizens and would abide to any conditions attached to bail.

The prosecution, led by Helen Khosa, had opposed bail saying the three were a flight risk and would interfere with state witnesses.

But Chidawanyika said Kombayi had travelled to the United Kingdom on November 12 last year for a medical check-up and came back on January 29 this year well aware of the audit report.

He said he (Kombayi) went to Gweru central police station on February 8 after Local Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, indicated to the media that the Gweru mayor was on a police wanted list and was a fugitive.

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