Mathew Masinge, Court Reporter
Harare City Council finance director Tendai Kwenda is set to spend another weekend in remand prison after a High Court judge reserved a decision on his bail appeal.
Kwenda is alleged to have authorised the splashing of over US$8 million on allowances, holidays, buying of personal vehicles and awarding hefty exit packages for managers in 2014 and 2015.
After hearing submissions from both the defence and prosecution, Justice Benjamin Chikowero reserved his ruling to a later date saying he had to apply his mind fully before coming up with his decision.
Allegations against Kwenda are that, on October 30, 2014, he connived with other top executives to transfer funds into his personal account from the council’s Traditional Beer Levy account.
The misappropriated funds were not part of the council’s general revenue but meant for community welfare as approved by the Minister of Local Government and Public Works.
Further, Kwenda is alleged to have purchased a Jeep Cherokee without the minister’s approval, a council resolution or council’s procurement procedure that calls for a tender process.
Kwenda is alleged to have purchased the Jeep Cherokee and registered it into his name before it was involved in a road traffic accident.
He failed to report the accident to council and proceeded to claim insurance from Old Mutual.
After receiving the insurance claim, Kwenda allegedly used the funds to purchase a Toyota Land Cruiser, which he also registered in his name.
The alleged offence was unearthed by a compliance audit ordered by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works.
The State’s fears are that if Kwenda is admitted to bail he is likely to interfere with witnesses.
Kwenda is expected back in court for routine remand on Christmas eve.