The trial date for Registrar General Clemence Masango’s criminal abuse of office case has been set.

Masango appeared in court yesterday before senior regional magistrate Tranos Utahwashe where he was advised of his trial date – November 10 – by regional prosecutor Panganai Chiutsi.

According to the state, sometime in October 2018 Masango sought authority from the permanent secretary in the ministry of Home Affairs Melusi Matshiya to purchase vehicles for the Civil Registry department.

On October 29, Masango originated a letter addressed to Matshiya requesting authority to purchase two Toyota Land Cruisers 200LC cars to improve access to district registries and sub offices that had become inaccessible due to rugged terrain.

“The request was approved on November 5. However, before they were purchased, Matshiya cancelled the approval of the purchase of the two vehicles in a letter written in November 2018 addressed to Masango citing a shift in government policy regarding purchase of vehicles,” the State alleges.

Masango allegedly acknowledged the letter and instructed the chief accountant Ndamukanei Gota to take note and comply.

The court heard that on January 18 last year, Masango unlawfully and corruptly originated a memorandum to Gota instructing him to facilitate the acquisition of a Ford Ranger Wild Track truck and also to transfer money to CMED Pvt Ltd for the purchase of five Isuzu Lite single cab vehicles without cabinet authority and approval from the ministry.

Acting on the instructions from Masango, Gota originated a letter to branch manager FBC bank authorising him to make a payment of US$78,505 to Duly’s Motors Pvt Ltd for the purchase of the Ford Ranger.

A further US$95,291 was transferred to CMED for the purchase of five Isuzu Lite single cabs.

The six vehicles were subsequently delivered to the Civil Registry department.

According to the state, Masango unlawfully acted contrary to his duties. -H-Metro