Former Provincial Governor Machaya was recently sentenced to 4 years in jail. Machaya and former Midlands physical planner Chisayinyerwa Chiburu were found guilty of abuse of office involving the sale of state land in Gokwe. Former Midlands Minister Jason Machaya had been under the spotlight for alleged criminal abuse of office when he was still in power. On Tuesday Magistrate Charity Maphosa sentenced both men to four-year jail term each with 18 months suspended on condition they do not commit a similar crime in two years.
Machaya was facing charges of allocating 17 799 residential and commercial stands to land developers. The developers in turn gave Machaya 1 791 stands and he sold 1 185.The two accused 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 ruled, they had a case to answer.
Machaya and Chibururu also sought a review at the High Court early this year, but Justice Pisirayi Kwenda declined to interfere, paving way for the trial to continue at the magistrates’ court.Machaya is also charged with allocating 192 stands to the Apostolic Christian Church of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) when he did not have the authority to do so. Meanwhile, defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama has filed for his clients’ bail pending appeal of the magistrate’s ruling. Most people have expressed relief at the ruling in that some former ministers are finally getting served with the necessary justice unlike the catch and release phenomenon that seems to dominate at the courts.