MDC Alliance councillors at Mutare City Council have been implicated in a scam involving residential stands after they allocated themselves land that only new councillors were supposed to benefit from.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Eleven councillors, who served in the previous council and were allocated residential stands, got stands again when, according to council by-laws, only new councillors were supposed to benefit.
Those who served previously include mayor Blessing Tandi and his deputy Kudakwashe Chisango, councillors Oliver Kalulu, John Nyamhoka, Thomas Nyamupanedengu and Tsitsi Ziweya, among others.
Recently, the councillors were implicated in irregular land deals by an audit report conducted by the Local Government ministry which covered the period 2017 to 2018.
The councillors reportedly acquired several residential and commercial stands at giveaway prices and some have not been paid for.
A source at civic centre confirmed the development to NewsDay yesterday.
“Policy of the government is that a councillor gets a stand once in a lifetime, the term he has come in office. But now, we have realised that some councillors have been getting a stand each time they have been in office, contrary to the policy of government,” the source said.
“We have realised that Tandi and his deputy, Chisango are already in their third terms and they have been each getting stands each term and recently they got stands again. That is clearly abuse of office.”
He added: “The town clerk is supposed to supervise all these but has been rewarding the Mutare councillors in return for what they have done for him — failure to send him on forced leave after being accused of abuse of office while serving Rusape council.”
Mutare council spokesperson Supren Mutiwi refused to comment, referring questions to Tandi, who said he was not aware of the development before querying why journalists were always stalking councillors.
“I am concerned, why you seem to follow councillors. Yes, we offered our first-time councillors stands as per the provision by the circular, I am not sure whether there was a second-term councillor who was offered,” he said.
United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Trust programme director Edson Dube said the looting should come to an end.
“As residents, we wonder where the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission is in the entire crisis. We should start witnessing some arrest. We will surely start filing formal reports with the relevant authorities,” he said.