GWERU – The Magistrate’s court has today sentenced former Midlands Minster of State for Provincial Affairs Jason Machaya four year jail, with 18 months suspended on condition he does not commit a similar crime in two years, after being found guilty of criminal abuse of office.
Machaya is being jointly charged with his co-accused Chaisayanyerwa Chibururu.
Defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama is already filing for a bail pending appeal.
He had earlier moved that the court should acquit his clients, arguing the State’s case was fraught with inconsistencies to secure conviction.
Machaya’s crimes included allocating 17 799 stands to land developers who in turn gave him 1 791 stands 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.
Machaya is further charged for allocating 192 stands to the Apostolic Christian Church of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) when he did not have the authority to do so.
Magistrate Charity Maphosa presided over the case.