By Petronilla Mukamuri
Harare city human resources boss Cainos Chingombe in trouble for loaning himself USD$130 000 for a luxury car has denied bail over fears he could evade justice.
Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa in denying Chingombe bail said there were real fears he could abscond since Zimbabwe’s borders were porous and also indicated that if he did not flee, he could interfere with witnesses.
Chingombe was back in court just a few days after the courts threw out other charges of corruption against him saying they were “meaningless and incomplete”.
This time he is facing charges of criminal abuse of office as a public officer where he is alleged to have advanced himself USD$130 000 and bought himself a motor vehicle for USD$119 000.
The state alleges that after buying the car, he reimbursed the local authority USD$5 000 to the local authority while the balance was used for the vehicle insurance.
In his bail application Chingombe, through his lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku admitted that $130 000 was transferred to his account for procurement of, the motor vehicle which was then registered in his name.
Chingombe said that his actions were lawful since he was entitled to get benefits as part of the conditions of service.
“What l did was lawful since l was entitled to get those benefits as my conditions of service,” said Chingombe.
He told the court that a resolution was passed by a caretaker council that senior managers could be allocated $130 000 for the purchase of their desired motor vehicle and if they purchased the vehicle for less the amount, they would reimburse the difference to the council.
Madhuku told the court that the state had a weak case since sending money through the city of Harare to personal bank accounts had approved by the then caretakers running the council.
Chingombe was remanded in custody to 21 December 2020.