HARARE - Minister of State for Mashonaland Central Martin Dinha charged with bribery, abuse of power and corruption, was indicted by a court in Bindura yesterday.
The decision paves the way for a trial in the High Court which is likely to be held in October.
Yesterday’s indictment described Dinha’s alleged crimes, including allegedly soliciting bribes totalling $60 000 from white farmers in his province, as “extremely serious”.
He will answer to charges of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer, bribery and money laundering on October 19.
He was represented by Tapson Dzvetero. He was admitted to $1 000 bail by Bindura magistrate Elisha Singano.
“My client believes that these are politically trumped-up charges and the complaints were lodged by people seeking political mileage,” Dzvetero said.
Dinha was ordered to reside at his present address, surrender his passport, not to interfere with witnesses and report to the police every Friday.
Prosecutor Nguni Nguni alleged that between 2012 and March 28, 2013 in Centenary, Dinha demanded $60 000 from white commercial farmer Guy Frank Dollar.
He was allegedly given the money through Saineti Magore Madzamba after promising that he would use his position as governor and resident minister of Mashonaland Central and chairperson of the provincial lands committee to facilitate the processing of an offer letter for Dollar.
The letter was for Tzoro Farm in Centenary and served to protect Dollar from eviction by new farmers gunning for A2 plots on his farm.
Dollar allegedly met Dinha at his house and was advised that the $60 000 had been given to a “higher authority”.
The court heard that Dollar paid the money after undue pressure was exerted on him by the minister through Madzamba.
It was further alleged that from March 28, 2013 to July 15 this year, Dinha unlawfully received and disposed of $40 000 deposited by Tsitsi Nyika into a POSB bank account.
The amount was also listed as bribe solicited by the minister.