CHIPINGE – Chipinge Resident Magistrate Franklin Mkwananzi has acquitted Chipinge Town Secretary, Susan Dube who was facing two charges of criminal abuse of office.
The judgements on both charges were read out today.
Dube was arrested a few months back for offering Johnson Mhlanga, an intern working at council a 1 000 square metre low density residential stand. The State argued that the scheme under which that happened was meant for council employees.
Mkwananzi however, said in his ruling that the intern is not excluded as an employee because the scheme says all employees were to benefit.
In the second charge, Dube was accused of collecting PVC pipes from the council workshop and using them at her Kenilworth Farm without paying for them. Magistrate Mkawananzi said in his ruling that Dube was not given information indicating that she was supposed to buy her own pipes.
He therefore said that the State failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Dube had committed an offense.
“Condition of service says all. The key word there being all. It is not discriminatory and therefore Johnson Mhlanga was and is an employee of council. This makes him eligible. The Housing Policy says permanent workers and does not in any way exclude non-permanent employees. Mhlanga had served for more than a year and therefore was entitled to benefit,” said Mkwananzi.
In the PVC pipes case, Dube was jointly charged with the town’s water and waste superintendent, Jeffrey Mwakachieyi.
The allegations were that the two connived to take PVC pipes from the council workshop and connected water to Dube’s Kenilworth Farm.
Mkwananzi said proper procedure was followed since she filled in the water connection fee and presented proof of payment. He added that proper procedure was followed.
“Water connection was done on January 2021 . An approval letter containing the conditions that the accused person was supposed to buy her own pipes was authored on January 25. Receipt of the letter was denied by both accused person’s. All of the witnesses called by the State, none indicated that the accused received the letter and hence never alive to the conditions. The author of the letter simply stated that he delivered the letter to the registry and non from the registry acknowledged it,” he said.