FORMER Harare City town clerk Tendai Mahachi has been acquitted by the Supreme Court in a matter where he was accused of criminal abuse of office by corruptly awarding millions of United States dollar tenders for waterworks during his tenure in

Mahachi, who was represented by Tapson Dzvetero, was being charged together with Simon Muserere, Christopher Magwenzi Zvobgo, Misheck Bvumbi, Masiye Kapere, Wilton Janjazi, Pauline Macharangwanda and Urayai Mangwiro for allegedly corruptly awarding a tender valued at US$13,8 million for the rehabilitation of the Firle Sewage Digester and Ancillary Works.

They were also accused of corruptly awarding a tender for the rehabilitation of Firle and Crowborough Sewage Works valued at US$18,1 million to Sidal Engineering (Pvt) Ltd, which had no capacity to execute the required work.

Sidal allegedly, in turn, sub-contracted Energy Resources Africa Consortium to do the work, thereby breaching Harare City Council tender procedures.

The High Court had acquitted the accused persons on the basis that the manual used as evidence had been put in place by an illegal commission and had not been adopted or regularised.

But State prosecutor chief law officer Chris Mutangadura appealed to the Supreme Court, saying the High Court erred in discharging the accused persons.

A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Nicholas Mathonsi, Alphas Chitakunye, and Lavender Makoni dismissed the State's appeal saying the accused person's guilt was not proved beyond reasonable doubt, and that the appeal by the State was without merit.

"The guilt of the respondents was not proved beyond reasonable doubt. The appeal is without merit. In the result, it be, and is hereby ordered that the appeal is dismissed," the bench ruled.