Stands scam lands council officer in court

Source: Stands scam lands council officer in court | The Herald

Stands scam lands council officer in court

Herald Reporter

A Harare City Council junior officer stationed at Kuwadzana district office, yesterday appeared in court for allocating 54 stands without authority from his superiors.

Mazano Zvakanyorwa appeared before Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa, charged with fraud.

He was not asked to plead to the charges before being released on $10 000 bail and ordered to return to court on October 5 for routine remand.

The State led by Mrs Constance Ngombengombe heard that on February 2 and 3 last year, Zvakanyorwa fraudulently created sundry accounts for 54 illegal residential stands in Harare’s Kuwadzana 3, 4 and 5.

It is alleged that Zvakanyorwa created the accounts without authorisation of his superior, who is the revenue officer at Kuwadzana District office.

As a result of his acts, council is said to have lost stands to undeserving persons.

The court heard that the matter came to light following a land forensic audit conducted by the council, which revealed that there was a lot of connivance between the city’s departments.

Council is said to have lost US$1 141 779 in the process.

Zvakanyorwa’s arrest follows that of other city bosses over land scams, which have prejudiced Harare of millions of US dollars.

On Thursday, Harare town clerk Hosiah Chisango was arrested in connection with the unravelling of alleged illegal land deals that have rocked the city.

Chisango was arrested in Gweru where he was attending a town clerks’ forum, just two days after he sent the formal letter suspending director of works Zvenyika Chawatama without pay on allegations of potential disciplinary offences.

It is understood that Chisango is being accused, along with the suspended director of housing and community services, Addmore Nhekairo, who is already on remand after being implicated in the illegal creation and allocation of stands on an open space in Kuwadzana 3 in July last year without going through the legal process of changing land use.

Former mayor Herbert Gomba and other top officials, Edgar Dzehonye, Mathew Marara, Rudo Chigocha, Believer Mpawaenda and Margeth Geroge, have also been arrested over land deals.