Former caretaker chairperson of the commission which once ran the City of Harare, Sekesai Makwavarara still has an ongoing corruption case that appears to have been shelved until the public forgets.
Makwavarara was arrested in 2007 together with Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi and fellow Commissioner Michael Mahachi, on charges of awarding Augur Investment Company a contract without due process.
Criminal Abuse of Office
The State alleges on September 4, 2007, Makwavarara and her accomplices entered into a shareholders agreement and MoU on May 21, 2008 with Augur Investments, a foreign-based company purportedly based in Ukraine.
The agreement and MOU were for the construction and upgrading of the Airport Road at a cost of $80 million.
Augur Investments was to fund and provide the expertise for the project while the City of Harare was to cede pieces of land to the company.
The project was allegedly divided into four phases and was to be completed in 2010.
U ar not well informed for sure. "What does airport road have to do with service delivery". It is council money that was stolen. It is council land that was stolen. That is why Sekesai Makwavarara is on remand. Chombo is charged for same. Council was defrauded of its revenue
— Wellie Marihoho (@MarihohoWellie) April 25, 2019
The engagement of Augur Investments by the accused persons was a violation of the Urban Councils Act, which provides for service providers and tenders by local authorities.
Augur Investments did not complete the project due to lack of capacity to handle projects of such magnitude.
The project was later taken over by the government through the Department of Roads and was financed by the Zimbabwe National Road Administration.
False Beginning of the Trial
Over time their trial has repeatedly failed to lead to anything conclusive.
The matter is being handled by Zivanai Macharaga of the Anti-Corruption Special Prosecution Unit in the office of President Mnangagwa.
Government launched specialised anti-corruption courts in March 2018 with five such courts in Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Manicaland and Gweru.
Up to now however nothing much has come out of the myriad and specialised courts.
The case of Makwavarara, a political flip-flopper, who moved from ZANU PF to MDC member before changing back to ZANU PF again is a case study in the acute lack of will to fight corruption.
An open case since 2007, involving a figure of much political interest like Makwavarara, speaks not just to a dereliction of duty by those involved but downright connivance to deny the public justice.