Mashonaland East Correspondent
Residents of Mutoko Growth Point have accused councillors of working in cahoots with management to strip the local authority of its land, with one of the councillors allegedly owning more than 10 residential and commercial stands.
Ward 20 Councillor Rabson Jembere is allegedly conniving with council management to allocate himself extra stands on prime land and buffer zones, despite owning several others in the town. The Mutoko Business Community accuse acting chief executive Mr Samson Zulu and Clr Jembere of conniving to sell a buffer zone which was initially reserved for TM P n Pay supermarket.
“We, as the Mutoko business community, kindly ask Mutoko RDC to consider our request to be accorded the opportunity to purchase the land,” said a businessman at the centre. “We, therefore, ask Mutoko RDC to stop putting the piece of land to tender and consider our request as an association.
“We are also advising Mutoko RDC to subdivide the piece of land.”
Clr Jembere is also being accused of looting stands and allocating residential and business stands to his children and relatives.
According to documents in possession of this publication, he owns stands number 3780, 6923, 200B in Mutoko Suburb One and stand number 200B in Suburb 18.
Some of the stands were allegedly registered in his children and relatives’ names.
A well placed council employee told The Herald that corruption in Mutoko was growing, and urged government to move in swiftly.
“Clr Jembere acquired most of his properties illegally,” said the worker. “With the help of council management, he has been allocating himself extra stands and selling them without council committee or full council resolutions.
“He used to connive with the former chief executive Mr Peter Sigauke and now he is conniving with the acting chief executive Mr Samson Zulu.
“He also benefited from stands that were meant to benefit youths in Mutoko. He has got a number of stands there, which he registered in his wives, children and relatives’ names.
“Jembere takes advantage of the relationship he has with council management to identify stands and sell them without following proper procedures.”
A councillor who asked for anonymity said when Clr Jembere allocated himself plot number 18 in Jerenje, he deprived youths who were meant to benefit from the land.
“In Jerenje, he allocated himself plot number 18 and connived with Mr Sigauke to sell some of the plots illegally, depriving desperate land seekers,” said the councillor.
“He also managed to get stands in Ward 11 Marange church area after approaching headman Mukuna and claimed that he had rights to the stands since the area is closer to his ward.”
Clr Jembere has also clashed with residents over the ownership of vending stalls, which he turned into tuck shops.
“He connived with the former CEO Mr Sigauke to convert vending stalls into tuckshops,” said another councillor. “These vending stalls were meant to benefit vegetable and fruit vendors. He owns some of the tuckshops.
“He used his influence to acquire more than 10 corner stores at Mutoko centre which he registered in his two wives’ and children’s names. He sold some of the corner stores.”
Clr Jembere allegedly forcefully took over a factory that was given to Mutoko home industry by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and he turned it into a flea market. The factory now belongs to Mutoko Informal Sectors Association, which he chairs. Clr Jembere and Mr Zulu denied the allegations when asked to shed light on the accusations.