Vic Falls mayor granted bail

Victoria Falls Mayor Councillor Somveli Dlamini was last Friday released on bail after appealing against denial of freedom to the High Court in Bulawayo.

Dlamini had spent about 35 days behind bars after the magistrate court in Hwange had denied him bail on fears he would temper with evidence and interfere with witnesses.

Magistrate Collet Ncube had said events that occurred prior to Dlamini’s arrest where a group of war veterans and members of the Hwange District Residents Association stormed the Victoria Falls City Council offices seeking to evict Town Clerk Ronnie Dube, showed that the mayor had the capacity to temper with evidence if released on bail.

The court was also concerned that since Dlamini mobilised people to demonstrate at the council offices, he would disturb investigations.

But the High Court in Bulawayo said Dlamini was a candidate for bail.

“Whereupon after reading documents filled of record and hearing the applicant and respondent, it is ordered that the appellant be and is hereby admitted to bail pending trial on the following conditions:

“The appellant pays the sum of RTGS $50 000 to the clerk of court, the appellant continues to reside at 506 Acacia Road, Victoria Falls, the appellant shall not interfere with state witnesses, evidence and investigations, the appellant shall report every Friday at Victoria Falls Police Station between 6 am and 6 pm and he surrenders his passport to the clerk of court,” said the judge.

Dlamini will return to court for routine remand next week Thursday.

He is facing a charge of fraud following his arrest by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) for allegedly misrepresenting to the council to buy a commercial stand valued at over US$90 000.

Allegations against Dlamini are that he misrepresented to Victoria Falls City Council and purported to be Valentine Munyaradzi Maseko to benefit from a stand when he had benefitted before.

A council resolution stipulates that land seekers must not have benefitted before from allocation, purchase or lost stands through repossession.

Dlamini (53) of 506 Acacia road and is councillor for Ward 9, allegedly misrepresented and purported to be Valentine Nyoni who he bought a stand from.

“On 15 August 2022, the accused in his capacity as mayor unlawfully and intentionally made a misrepresentation and purported to be Valentine Munyaradzi Maseko who he had earlier on in 20003 purchased a stand 1139 from by making an application using the name Valentine Munyaradzi Maseko under the Wood Road Housing Scheme upon which the council offered him stand number 1771,” prosecutors allege.

Dlamini was supposed to pay a deposit of US$25 000 but paid US$10 000.

The balance was supposed to be paid within five days and when he failed to raise it, he paid $7 500 000 in local currency.

Dlamini was arrested by a ZACC team that he had invited to investigate the Town Clerk.

He is being represented by Givemore Mvhiringi of Mvhiringi and Associates.

The council was allegedly prejudiced of US$15 000 and potential prejudice of US$66 462.75.

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