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Tsholotsho acting CEO re-arrested on fresh charges

by Staff reporter
24 Nov 2019 at 18:21hrs | Views
EMBATTLED Tsholotsho Rural District Council acting chief executive officer Nkululeko Sibanda has been arrested again on fresh charges of graft.

Sibanda (51) is on $400 bail on another case where he is alleged to have prejudiced Tsholotsho RDC of US$4 179 900 in a hunting concession tender deal.

In the latest development, Sibanda appeared before Tsholotsho magistrate, Mr Victor Mpofu on Friday facing a fresh charge of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.

Sibanda will spend the weekend in cells after the magistrate denied him bail as he was on bail on another case.

The magistrate remanded him in custody to 6 December and advised him to apply for bail at the High Court.

According to the State's case as presented by Mr Billiat Muguwo, Sibanda prejudiced the council of US$16 936 in a deal for the purchase of a computer software system.

"On 21 October 2019, accused authorised the purchase of a Sage of Pastel Evolution software on a requisition form that was raised by Gabriel Ndlovu who is his secretary, without authority. Accused omitted to observe laid down procedures on Section 17 of the Statutory Instrument which required him to initiate and engage in procurement by requisition for quotations.

"The act required the accused as an accounting officer to proceed by way of a notice board advertisement, e-mail and quotations from as many bidders as practicable but at least three competitive bidders, using standard documents produced by the authority," said Mr Muguwo.

Sibanda is said to have authorised for the payment from their CBZ Tsholotsho account.

The prosecutor also noted that the State would be bringing the requisition form, payment voucher and the bank payment transfer statement as exhibits to support the case.

In the initial case Sibanda is alleged to have reduced the original bidding price in the final contract awarded to Matupula Hunters.

He is also said to have altered a number of the terms of the final contract awarded to the hunting entity.

The bid for the hunting concession had attracted four bidders, namely Matupula Hunters, Lodzi Hunters, Mapassa Big Game Hounds and Statunga Zimbabwe, with Matupula Hunters winning the bid on 16 April as they had the highest bid.

After the awarding of the tender to Matupula Hunters, one of the bidders, Lodzi Hunters challenged the tender process to the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, alleging there were gross irregularities leading to PRAZ unveiling these criminal mishaps leading to Sibanda's arrest.

Ironically, Sibanda was shortlisted together with two others — Mr Minutewell Ncube and Dr Pios Ncube — to take over as the council's substantive CEO with their names forwarded to the Local Government Board for final consideration.

Source - sundaynews