Chikomba – Provincial Magistrate Sam Chitumwa will deliver judgment in Chikomba District Development Co-ordinator (DDC)’s bribery case on March 3, 2022 after hearing evidence from the last witness, a Chikomba Rural District Council (RDC) social welfare committee secretary on Thursday last week.
Magistrate Chitumwa told the court at the end of Michael Mariga’s trial that he would deliver judgment in two weeks’ time.
The trial has been one of the most sensational in Chivhu after Mariga who is 57 years old was trapped by Police and allegedly arrested soon after receiving bribe from Teresa Dangwa, a director of an American-based NGO who wanted to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Chikomba RDC.
The investigating cop Martin Kadzimu said he found marked US$60 in Mariga’s documents that he carried with him at the RDC’s offices in Chivhu on November 16, 2021. Mariga is refuting that money was a bribe and insists that it was for allowances that were to be paid for councillors and officers who were supposed to attend the meeting.
Dangwa however, said Mariga together with Moses Mataruse, a Zanu PF senior provincial officer in Mash East demanded a bribe of US$150 for an MOU to be signed between her organisation Dangwa Trust Initiative and the District. The bribe was later reduced to US$60 after negotiations.
Chikomba RDC CEO Bullen Chiwara threw Mariga under the bus when he told the court that Dangwa was not expected to pay any money to council.
On Thursday, social services committee Secretary at the RDC, Kushinga Blessing Chari was put into a corner by the prosecution over a letter which he authored on a council letterhead in support of Mariga. The letter said that Dangwa was supposed to pay US$150 to council for allowances.
The prosecution queried why Dangwa was never given that letter if it was supposed to instruct her to pay money to council. It also queried why Dangwa paid US$60 when the letter says she was supposed to pay US$150.
The prosecution suspected that Chari connived with Mariga and wrote the letter to cover-up the bribe. The prosecution also told the court that Chari was a nephew of Mariga which Chari refuted.
Mariga is represented by Tafara Nsingo.https://masvingomirror.com