2 Mashwede Diesel employees acquitted

HARARE - Two Mashwede Diesel workers accused of trying to bribe Zanu PF’s Harare youth leader Jim Kunaka are now free men following their acquittal.

Magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta yesterday acquitted the two after founding them not guilty.

Isheanesu Maribha, 34 and Gwezuva Changamire, 35,  were accused of trying to bribe Kunaka to smoothen the way for the construction of a $1,2 million service station and food court in Harare’s high density suburb of Mbare.

The two are employed by Mashwede Diesel Services as general manager and sales representative respectively.
The court heard Mashwede Diesel Services was allocated a stand in Harare at corner Harare Street and Cripps Road to build a service station in January last year.

The allocation, according to State papers, allegedly angered the Mbare Residents Committee, which claims it previously applied for the same property but was told the place was reserved for the expansion of Matapi Police Station.

It had been claimed local residents demonstrated against the allocation of the place for the construction of the service station.

It was the State’s case that Shepherd Hungwe, also known as Gunpowder, approached Kunaka in a bid to urge him to use his influence to persuade local residents to stop the demonstrations against the construction of the service station.

Gunpowder allegedly offered $15 000 on behalf of Maribha and Changamire to stop the demonstrations since Kunaka is an influential person in the suburb.

It is alleged Kunaka called the police and a trap was set, leading to the arrest of the two and the recovery of $5 000 alleged bribery money. - Ivan Zhakata

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