Former Harare Town Clerk, Tendai Mahachi,  Harare City Council waste  water manger, Simon Muserere, former director of Public Works, Christopher Zvobgo appeared before Harare Magistrate, Ms Barbara Chimbodza answering charges of US$31 million fraud.

The trio was admitted to US$300 bail.

Acting Town Clerk for the Harare City Council, Mrs Josephine Ncube is the complainant in the matter and according to the state prosecutor, Sebastian Mutizirwa sometime in 2010 the City embarked on a sewerage rehabilitation project at Firle and Crowborough sewage works spearheaded by Muserere and Zvobgo.

Mahachi was the overall in charge as the Town Clerk and accounting officer while one Misheck Mubvumbi who is at large was to ensure the availability of the funds for the rehabilitation projects.

In the first count it is alleged that the accused persons by-passed the council’s tender procedures and smuggled in an unregistered company and awarded the contract for rehabilitation of Firle sewage works to Energy Resources Africa (ERAC) to the tune of US$13 million.

The accused are further said to have came up with an un priced bill of quantities for the rehabilitation works and corruptly neglected to request the bidders to submit CR14  forms, certificate of incorporation, tax clearance certificates and audited  financial statements.

They are alleged to have then handpicked companies with no capacity to do the work and in a bid to cover up for the fact that ERAC was not registered they referred to the company as Potriver where the funds were deposited , no work was performed.

On the second count on 22 March 2011, the accused allegedly corruptly awarded an US$18 million project to Sidal Engineering to rehabilitate Firle and Crowborough sewage works without following council procedures.

Mahachi is represented by Tapson Dzvetero while Muserere is represented by Admire Rubaya.

The trio were granted US$100 bail, surrender their passports, to report once every Friday at CID, reside at their given addresses and not to interfere with witnesses.