30 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Council Lost More Land - Dumba

SACKED Harare councillor Warship Dumba has made sensational claims that council lost more land in controversial deals than previously reported due to dereliction of duty by the city fathers.

The Mount Pleasant councillor who was fired from council in 2011 said the city's central business district used to have two council clinics to serve residents but the land was taken by government with promises that it would build a council hospital at an open space at the corner of Sixth Street and Herbert Chitepo Avenue now being used as a parking bay for government vehicles.

He said the promise was never honoured, resulting in the municipality being prejudiced.

He also claimed that the land where the Exhibition Park is located once belonged to council, but the way it changed hands was also questionable, adding that rentals and other charges being paid by companies that use the exhibition park should have gone a long way in changing the municipalities' fortunes at a time when council is facing cash flow problems.

According to Dumba, it was also baffling that the land at the corner of Sixth Street and Herbert Chitepo Avenue is now being referred to as government property when it belonged to council.

"According to the council master plan, it is not government property. That land has never belonged to the State. When I got into council, I noted that Harare has no systems and it is losing millions of dollars through lack of systems," said Dumba.

He claimed that the city had lost US$15 million towards the payment of ghost workers within the municipality.

He once gain reiterated his previous claims that he had been fired from council to block him from unearthing further dirty, months after he had chaired a committee that had queried land deals reached by the then Sekesayi Makwavarara commission with various individuals. Dumba blamed current mayor Muchadeyi Masunda for some of the rot and cited his failure to block last year's decision to buy top of the range vehicles for some top council officials at the expense of service delivery.

The former councillor said Masunda had exhibited lack of leadership when he attended a ceremony giving thumbs up to the building of a US$100 million mall in Borrowdale when council had constituted a committee headed by retired judge Ahmed Ibrahim to investigate the land in question.- Property Reporter.

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