Mayor, councillors loot 90 res stands

Source: Mayor, councillors loot 90 res stands – NewZimbabwe 06/05/2016

CHITUNGWIZA: A councillor illegally acquired a total of 41 residential stands in the dormitory town in a massive corruption scandal that has seriously affected social service delivery.

An internal audit carried out by the cash strapped council last year, but leaked to the public after the municipality tried to sweep it under the carpet, reveals that councillors from both Zanu PF and MDC-T and senior managers were identifying undeveloped stands before sharing them among themselves and cronies.

The Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST) and the Centre for Community Development in Zimbabwe (CCDZ) officials said they had since written to the minister of local government, Saviour Kasukuwere, the Parliament, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the Auditor General to probe the happenings at the council.

“The audit further exposes that the housing waiting list of Chitungwiza municipality is a mere formality as councillors, staff and their cronies are holding stands, which they sell to desperate members of the public who are not on the waiting list,” said Phillip Pasirayi, the director of CCDZ , during a press conference.

CHITREST director, Marvellous Kumalo, said the corruption in Chitungwiza had seriously affected service delivery as councillors and senior managers concentrated on illicit deals and on amassing wealth.

According to the internal audit report, Zanu PF councillor, Charamba Mlambo grabbed 41 residential stands between 2 July 2015 and 3 November 2015.

Other councillors implicated are Dende Kwanisai who grabbed 12 stands, one Mandihlare, 12, Mhedziso, seven, Chiunye, three, Dzere, five, Murandu, six and Simbiso Mhike, four.

Mayor, Phillip Mutoti, facilitated that his four year-old son, Nathan, be allocated a residential stand, which the mayor later resold.

“Councillors are policy makers and the identification of undeveloped stands and open spaces should remain the duty of the planning department. Council does not have a data base for all properties in Chitungwiza resulting in councillors, staff and residents identifying stands and open spaces for allocation to themselves,” the audit report said.

The report recommended that the allocation of stands should be based on the housing waiting list rather than making it a mere formality of registering people without any follow ups.

“People should be invited for interviews basing on the waiting register numbers rather than people converging at the housing offices every day looking for stands, a situation that is fuelling corruption in Chitungwiza,” the report recommends.

Kumalo said corruption in the town council was “sickening” and urged Kasukuwere to swiftly intervene and bring to justice those implicated.