Kasukuwere descends on Chitungwiza

LOCAL Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere is today expected to tackle the explosive Chitungwiza internal audit report, which exposed a massive stands scandal implicating mayor Phillip Mutoti, councillors and staffers.

Source: Kasukuwere descends on Chitungwiza – NewsDay Zimbabwe May 13, 2016

BY Albert Masaka

A Zanu PF official in the dormitory town said Kasukuwere would find it difficult to deal with the land scam, as it heavily implicated both ruling party and MDC-T councillors.

“Chitungwiza’s case is unique in that while the majority of MDC-T councillors were also involved in the land scam, the worst culprits were Zanu PF councillors. This has incapacitated previous Zanu PF ministers from dealing decisively with corruption in the town,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

“[Former Local Government deputy minister] Joel Biggie Matiza tried and failed to restore order here and look at what later happened to him. Even former Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo failed to act, and at one time blamed the police for not arresting land barons in Chitungwiza. But now he is Home Affairs minister, what has he done?”

The Zanu PF official said Chombo had instead protected MDC-T councillors, who had been recalled by the party following allegations of corruption. He said officials, who contributed to the internal audit, were being threatened with dismissal by some councillors implicated in the land scam. MDC-T Chitungwiza provincial secretary-general, Lloyd Damba this week said the party did not tolerate corruption and had set up a committee to probe the conduct of its councillors following the incriminating audit report.

Kasukuwere, who has openly accused MDC-T-controlled councils of corruption, was uncharacteristically guarded on the motive of his visit to Chitungwiza.

“Yes, I will be in Chitungwiza tomorrow (today), but it is just a routine visit, nothing more,” he told NewsDay yesterday.

The report showed that several councillors and workers had usurped the role of the planning department by conniving to identify undeveloped stands and submitting land for verification and allocation to the department of housing in a well-orchestrated scam.

The report showed that Mutoti’s four-year-old son was allegedly allocated a stand and later sold it while Zanu PF councillor Charamba Mlambo acquired more than 40 stands.

The scam had prejudiced the cash-strapped local authority of millions of dollars in potential revenue.