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Bona Mugabe's hubby off the hook

by Staff reporter
22 Jun 2021 at 16:02hrs | Views
THE late former President Robert Mugabe's son-in-law Simbarashe Mutsahuni Chikore was yesterday acquitted of criminal abuse of office charge in a matter where he was accused of signing a memorandum of agreement with Safeguard Security Services without going to tender during the time he was chief executive officer at Air Zimbabwe.

Chikore, who was represented by Jonathan Samukange and Brighton Pabwe, was acquitted by regional magistrate Ngoni Nduna, who upheld his application for exception.

Chikore, who is married to Mugabe's daughter Bona, had argued that he was not a public officer, hence could not be charged with criminal abuse of office.

Nduna upheld his application, saying according to four cases heard at the Supreme Court, the application was in favour of Chikore. He added that all Air Zimbabwe sister companies were not public entities, hence Chikore could not be charged with criminal abuse of office.

Nduna cited a Supreme Court case by Air Zimbabwe challenging the sale by auction of its properties where it argued that it was not a public entity.

Nduna said there were four similar judgments by the Supreme Court where Air Zimbabwe was listed as a private entity.

The State had alleged that on August 30 2017, Chikore signed a memorandum of agreement with Safeguard Security Services for the provision of security services at Air Zimbabwe without following procurement procedures. It was further alleged that he entered into a contract with Safeguard for 10 security guards, who were deployed at various Air Zimbabwe workstations for US$16 445 per month which was above the US$10 000 threshold for informal tender. The State alleged that in terms of the procurement law, any procurement of service above US$10 000 to US$15 000 required an informal tender.

It was heard that Chikore single-handedly engaged the security firm disregarding the advice of the then Air Zimbabwe accounting officer, Ripton Muzenda.

Source - newsday
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