By Staff Reporter
Gokwe Town Council has suspended its Finance Director Joconia Nyoni who was recently arrested and currently on bail following abuse of office charges which are being levelled against him.
The arrest of Nyoni last week and his subsequent appearance in court follows that of suspended Town Secretary Melania Mandeya who is currently in bail.
Gokwe Council chairperson Never Gwanzura said the council has decided to suspend Nyoni so as to pave way for internal investigations.
Last week Gwanzura told this publication that the council was waiting for direction from acting Town Secretary Joseph Mandlokwane.
“Following the arrest of Nyoni and his subsequent appearance in court were he was granted bail. We met as council and decided to send him on a forced leave so that we will conduct our own internal investigations,” Gwanzura said.
The Chairperson recently speaking on the suspension of Mandeya said the council usually conducts its own internal investigations independent from those from the court so as to establish their own independent findings.
Meanwhile, Nyoni who was arrested last week made a subsequent court appearance before Gokwe Magistrate Hillary Ndlovu for allegedly defrauding his employer through flouting tender processes.
He has since been granted a $1000 bail and is set to be back in court on 5 March so as to be furnished with a trial date.
It is the State’s Case that Nyoni, in his capacity as the director of finance, connived with Mandeya to prejudice Council of funds.
Acting in connivance with Mandeya, Nyoni directly procured 9, 10KVA/10KWA solar power system from Nerenchia Power Rite Company on a fix and supply basis for Gokwe Town Council.
During the procurement procedure, the court heard that the council was qouted US 14 792, 50 by the said company.
Nyoni, however, went on to pay $325 435, using an unofficial foreign currency exchange rate, thereby, favouring the said company and prejudicing the council of large sums of money.
The court heard that had it been competitive bidding the local authority could have saved thousands of dollars.
The court further heard that Nyoni also paid for 24 by 330 watts solar panels but only 20 by 400 watts solar panels were installed at the Town House and the rest were not accounted for.