MIDLANDS BUREAU CHIEF
GWERU-Former Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Jason Machaya is a free man after serving a 30 months jail term at Wha-wha Prison for criminal abuse of office.
Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Officer Commanding Midlands Province Commissioner Somemore Gate confirmed the release of Machaya last week in an interview with The Mirror.
“I can confirm that Machaya is now a free man after he completed his jail term. He is not a beneficiary of the Presidential Amnesty Programme,” he said.
Machaya (71), together with Chaisayanyerwa Chibururu (53), were in September 2020 convicted by then Provincial Magistrate Charity Maphosa for unlawfully allocating 17 799 stands to land developers in Gokwe town and demanded 1 000 stands from the local authority worth US$900 000.
Machaya was also facing charges of allocating 192 stands to the Apostolic Christian of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) without authority.
According to State papers, between 2011 and 2017, Machaya used his powers to acquire 1 000 residential stands in the Mapfungautsi suburb in Gokwe Town.
In 2013, Machaya made verbal demands to Gokwe Town Council to release 1 000 stands as opposed to written requests made by the Local Government Ministry.
His unlawful conduct was against the Government policy, which gives the authority of the local Government Ministry to acquire only 10 per cent of the residential stands.
Further allegations were that Machaya imposed a land developer, Striations World Marketing Property Developers, to service and sell the stands in Gokwe Town without following proper tendering procedures.
He was sentenced to 48 months in jail. However, Maphosa suspended 18 months on condition that he does not commit a similar crime in two years.