Mathew Masinge, Court Reporter
High Court Judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero has dismissed Harare City Council finance director Tendai Kwenda’s application for bail pending his trial.
Kwenda was arrested last year on allegations of transferring US$70 000 meant for the provision of water, sanitation, education and recreational services, into his personal bank account and later purchasing a top-of-the-range vehicle.
In his ruling, Justice Chikowero, said Kwenda was likely to abscond.
“It is my finding that the applicant is highly likely not to abscond but also to interfere with witnesses and the investigations.
“In the result, the application for bail pending trial be and is hereby dismissed,” reads the ruling.
He said the police had a torrid time to effect arrest on Kwenda.
“Considering the tortuous route this matter had to take for it to reach the police station, and the torrid time that the police had to endure to arrest him.
“I find that there are compelling reasons to deny the applicant bail,” he said.
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.