via VP’s sister stays in council house for free – Southern Eye January 7, 2016
A WOMAN believed to be Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s sister is reportedly staying at a council house in Kwekwe without paying rentals, raising the ire of the local authority, which has requested an audit of its properties.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
But the councillors have clashed with the city’s management, which has reportedly refused to release the list of non-movable properties owned by the local authority and the names of the occupants, arguing this was classified information.
According to latest council minutes, housing committee chairperson, Morris Chinwada told fellow councillors that management declined to produce the list, claiming the document was “confidential and carried classified information”.
The committee requested the list following reports that some of the houses had been occupied by non-council employees, who were not paying any rentals to the local authority.
“We have received tip-offs that some of the houses are being occupied by relatives of top Zanu PF politicians, who are not even paying rentals to council and on the back of a directive by the Ministry of Local Government that council should cede title to its tenants, we have requested for the list, which was only shown to us in a flash to the extent that we could not note the details,” Chinwada said.
Director of housing and community services, Newton Dete told a December 10, 2015 committee meeting that he could not release the list into the hands of the councillors because it was classified.
“Dete informed the meeting that the list could be provided, but it should be noted that this is classified information for security reasons, hence he requested to circulate the list subject to its withdrawal after members had gone through it,” read minutes of the meeting.
Some of the properties include house number 22A along First Avenue at Globe and Phoenix currently occupied by the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association.
The ex-combatants, according to the report, at one time owed council $18 765 in rentals.
Mnangagwa’s sister, only identified as D Mwale, has also taken occupation of a council house at 5 Leopold Takawira Street and has not been paying rentals.
Mwale, according to the 2009 council property list released to the audit committee, had an outstanding bill of $2 000.
Acting town clerk, Lucia Mnkandla said the list had since been withdrawn by council as a number of changes had been made to it, although she did not disclose the nature of the alterations.
Councillor Aaron Gwalazimba, however, insisted that the list, which was circulated to councillors, was similar to the one produced in 2009, when he was audit chairman.
He said the only change that he saw was on 24 Leopold Takawira, which in 2009 was occupied by Morris Mutema, who, at that time, had left the employ of the local authority.
“The difference is that he still stays at the house, but he is now the internal audit manager and in 2009 he was not employed by us. Everything else is the same, but maybe now we are owed much more in unpaid rentals,” Gwalazimba said.