Harare City Coucil Engineer in $1,5m scandal
4 January 2017
AN ENGINEER with the Harare City Council yesterday pleaded not guilty to two counts of concealing from a principal a personal interest in transactions involving over $1, 5 million.
Simon Takawira Muserere, 43, a Wastewater manager with the city council, is accused of approving tenders to a company, Showbyte Engineering that was owned by his mother, brother, sisters-in-law and his wife who had withdrawing rights from the company’s bank account.
Muserere was brought to court by way of summons.
According to the State, from February to August 2010 Muserere is believed to have carried out a transaction regarding his principal’s affairs without disclosing that he held a personal interest in the matter.
He is believed to have initiated the project for the upgrading and rehabilitation of Highlands sewerage pipeline and arranged the selective tendering by handpicking prospective bidders for the work worth over $1,2 million.
In a separate case, the accused is believed to have awarded a tender of $300 000 to his in-law’s company for the construction of an 800 metre sewerage diversion in Chadcombe.
The prosecution, led by Michael Reza, is trying to prove that the accused carried out a transaction in which he had a personal interest since he was dealing with a company owned by his relatives.
The State’s witness, acting Town Clerk Josephine Ncube, told the court that the accused acted wrongly because “according to the ethics, the accused was supposed to recuse himself from the tender process”.
Ncube also told the court that Muserere failed to follow the ethics in procurement by awarding the tender to Showbyte Engineering and sat on meetings that involved the company.
In cross-examination by the accused’s lawyer, Ncube maintained her position that the accused acted unlawfully.
Ncube added that she did not have evidence that the accused initiated an application for tender as he was not part of the tender formulation team.
Harare regional magistrate Bianca Makwande remanded the matter to January 24 for continuation.