BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
CHITUNGWIZA residents have expressed concern over the in unprocedural manner in which the local authority cancelled the offer of a commercial stand belonging to acting town clerk Evangelista Machona’s daughter Wadzanai Jenje.
This was after the town’s housing and community services department issued a memorandum last week stating that the deal had been cancelled.
The memo, which was addressed to the registry supervisor, read: “Kindly be advised that commercial stand number 21242 Zengeza 2 for Wadzanai Jenje was cancelled in our records. She has already been refunded payments she made towards the stand.”
But Chitungwiza Residents and Ratepayers Association (CHIRRA) chairperson Arthur Taderera said despite that Jenje had been refunded $6 441,50 for the stand, it is still under her name in council records.
“The way she was refunded the money was also not procedural,” Taderera said.
“As stakeholders, we are closely monitoring the issue. We are worried and feel that all this was an attempt to cover up a case before the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc). It is exposing the acting town clerk’s shenanigans on the stand belonging to her daughter,” added Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association secretary Brighton Mazhindu.
“In the first place, she unprocedurally repaid her daughter without going through the relevant departments (housing, registry and audit). That meant Jenje was repaid, but she still owns the stand.”
The memo has reportedly left residents suspecting that it was an attempt by Machona to cover up for the stand scandal which was reported to Zacc by the Chitungwiza Multi-stakeholders Forum chairperson Bishop Masamba in February under RRB 001211.
Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST) director Alice Kuveya alleged that Machona was authoritative and could give a directive to anyone at the municipality’s head office.
“That letter is meant to cover up. Remember, it is her daughter and she can give a directive to anyone at the head office to do what pleases her. She must not interfere with the investigations and leave the law to take its course,” she said.
In her response, Machona said: “My plea is that you must cover developmental issues like emergency road programmes running well in Chitungwiza. Let’s not dwell on politics, hatred and administrative issues which do not add value to the municipality. I am being deviated from concentrating on development strategies. I have an open door policy where our residents can come and engage on any matters that affect them.”
However, residents have accused Machona of paying $219 227 last year for commercial stand 12078 in Nyatsime, measuring 72 839 square metres which was allocated to her in 2015 and was supposed to be paid for in United States dollars. There is another case reported under case No ER156/20 to the Police Anti-Corruption Unit by CHIRRA over her alleged criminal abuse of office.