New Zimbabwe (London)

12 July 2014

Zimbabwe: Chiredzi Pulls Plug On Dodgy Land Deals

CHIREDZI Town Council has pulled the plug on the allocation of 644 residential stands following revelations that the deals were mired in corruption.

Officials at the local authority said some minors under the age of 18 had benefited from the stands including many individuals who shared the same surname, raising suspicions that the allocations were done in a corrupt manner.

The town council had posted the names of the 644 people who were going to benefit from the allocation on the notice board but pulled down the list barely 24 hours later after council requested an audit of the beneficiaries.

Town council chairperson, Francis Moyo, admitted that that the allocation had been done in a corrupt manner and blamed the mess on the previous council.

"Some of the anomalies were done by the previous council and we have withdrawn the list because there was an element of corruption in it," he said.

He said some corrupt officials within council's housing department were involved in underhand dealings.

"We also discovered that the list of beneficiaries that was submitted to council was not the same as the one which was made public," he said.

He said the housing waiting list in the sugar cane farming community had ballooned to 7,000.

Chiredzi councillors and officials are always at loggerheads.

Recently the town engineer was taken to task over the expenditure of nearly $20,000 for the construction of a culvert whose documentation the town fathers say they are unaware of.

The town fathers also questioned the authorisation of the project and the tender process which saw the project being awarded to Concord Construction of Chiredzi.

Earlier this year the cash-strapped council was prejudiced of more than $20 000 in potential revenue through a housing scam that saw over 100 individuals being allocated residential stands without a single cent going into council coffers resulting in town clerk, Charles Muchatukwa, ordering an audit.

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