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Bikita RDC CEO case postponed

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Bikita RDC CEO case postponed



BIKITA – Magistrate Takawira Mugabe this morning postponed Bikita Rural District Council (RDC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Chibhi’s case to April 21, 2023 because the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is still investigating the matter.
Prosecutor Richard Nyamuwomba told the court that ZACC investigating officers are yet to record a statement from the director of local authorities in the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to prepare a docket against Chibhi.
He remains on remand and his bail conditions are that he surrenders his passport and report to Bikita Police Station once every week and must not interfere with State witnesses.
Chibhi is facing charges of breaching the Public Finance Management Act after he borrowed US$ 191 000 from African Century Limited on behalf of Bikita RDC to buy six personal Toyota GD6 vehicles for managers without Government’s approval.
The six vehicles were bought from Faramatsi and the loan attracts interest of US$30 000 which culminates into a prejudice to council of US$222 000, according to the State.
The State said Section 124(2) (d) of the Rural District Councils Act (Chapter 29:13) restricts a council from borrowing money unless the Minister has granted the authority permission to borrow the money.
The State also said that Section 65(1) of the Public Finance Management Act (Chapter 22:19) restricts public entities from borrowing money or issuing a guarantee, indemnity or security, or enter into any other transaction that binds or may bind that entity or the Consolidated Revenue Fund to any future commitment, unless such borrowing, guarantee, indemnity, or other transaction is authorized by the enactment which established or governs it, so long however as the applicable provisions relating to this Act are complied with.
A resident who spoke on condition of anonymity said the development throws scorn on ZACC’s conduct and reputation as it should have arrested after completion of investigations and not arresting to investigate.
He said Chibhi’s case is likely to die a natural death making accusations that ZACC is playing catch and release games in cases involving high profile government officials undeniable.
Meanwhile there has been furore from residents who complained that Chibhi is continuing to go to work despite a Statutory Instrument issued by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works in 2020 forcing all council officials with pending court cases to go on suspension.
Local Government and Public Works communications director Gabriel Masvora said the Ministry will formally write a letter to Bikita RDC to suspend Chibhi.

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