Fresh charges for council boss 

Source: Fresh charges for council boss | The Herald

Nyore Madzianike-Senior Court Reporter

HARARE City Council Director of Works Isaiah Zvenyika Chawatama on Friday
appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court on fresh charges of changing a
layout plan and allocating 12 residential stands and a piece of land to
construct a police station in Monavale, without approval from the Ministry
of Local Government.

Chawatama, who was being represented by Mr Admire Rubaya, was not asked to
plead to the criminal abuse of duty charges when he appeared before
magistrate Mrs Judith Taruvinga.

Mrs Taruvinga remanded Chawatama to August 26 on $20 000 bail.

Mr Anesu Chirenje, appearing for the State, said Chawatama’s duties
included supervising the city planner whose responsibilities include
creation of layout plans and applying to the Ministry of Local Government
for Minister’s consent for change of reservation of open spaces to
residential stands before disposal.

The Ministry of Local Government is responsible for approving change of
reservation of open spaces into any other use.

The court heard that it is a mandatory requirement that the City of Harare
applies to the Minister of Local Government for change of reservation.

After approval of change of reservation, the director of works raises a
communication to the city valuer and estates manager for valuation of
stands who then sends the stand prices to the Director of Housing and
Community Services for allocation.

It is the State’s case that on February 16, 2017 Samuel Nyabezi, the City
Planner, created a layout plan number TPF/WR/65/2015 and created 12
residential stands and a police stand at Subdivision C Portion of
Strathaven C at corner Quendon/Lyndhurst roads, Monavale, Harare.

The land was set aside as Freeway Reservation, according to the State.

It is alleged that Chawatama’s move was contrary to his duties since he
omitted to seek the Minister’s consent for change of reservation.

Nyabezi allegedly approved the layout plan without submitting it to the
Environmental Management Committee for recommendations or to a full
council for approval.

On December 17, 2019 Chawatama allegedly connived with Nyabezi and
misrepresented facts to City of Harare’s Finance Department and the
Department of Housing and Community Services through a memorandum saying
the stands were approved and ready for disposal.

Acting on the alleged misrepresentation, the Department of Housing and
Community Services went on to dispose of the stands to beneficiaries who
were made to pay $50 000 as provisional deposit for intrinsic land price.