GWERU – The Midlands Provincial court yesterday deferred judgment for former Minister for Provincial Affairs Jason Machaya who is facing charges of criminal abuse of office to 17 August 2020.
The postponement came after the Magistrate presiding over the issue, Charity Maphosa failed to show up for the case as she is now based in Gwanda.
Machaya is charged along with Chaisayanyerwa Chibururu.
It is alleged Machaya allocated 17 799 stands to land developers, who in turn gave him 1 791 of which he sold 1 185.
The two denied the charges when their trial started last year and their bid to be discharged at the close of the State case was rejected when the magistrate found they had a case to answer.
They sought a review at the High Court early this year of that rejection, but Justice Pisirayi Kwenda refused to interfere, paving way for the trial to continue with the pair being put on their defense.
It is further alleged that Machaya allocated 192 stands to the Apostolic Christian Church of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) when he did not have the authority to do so.
Defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama moved that the court should acquit his clients, arguing the State’s case was fraught with inconsistencies to secure conviction.
On the other hand, prosecutor Clemence Chimbari told the court that the State had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt to warrant conviction of the pair. After hearing submissions from both counsel for the accused and the State, Maposa had reserved judgment to July 30.