6 November 2017

Zimbabwe: Commission Probes Underhand Chitungwiza Land Deals

The commission running the affairs of Chitungwiza Municipality is in the process of identifying all pieces of land that were allocated to employees by council bosses and suspended councillors, it has emerged.

This was revealed by commission chair Mr Madzudzo Pawadyira last week after revelations that a revenue officer with the local authority, Mr Mushonga, occupied a football pitch in Zengeza and turned it into a car park.

Mr Pawadyira said it was disheartening to note that there were some council employees depriving the local authority of potential revenue by illegally occupying land.

There is also contention over the repossession and distribution of home industry stands in Makoni.

Acting Town Clerk Mrs Charity Maunga told the commission that the audit manager, Mr Jimmy Chiundura, had since conceded that proper procedures were not being followed in the repossession of the stands.

"On the Mutombeni issue (whose stand was repossessed), I do not think in this case there was supposed to be any repossession, but the auditor noted that proper procedures were not being followed," she said.

"It was for council to note, when you are repossessing home industry stands, you need to follow the procedure."

Mr Chiundura also weighed in: "The stand (Mr Mutombeni's stand) was unprocedurally repossessed by the chairman of the committee which is running there, not council, and that was why we questioned it. The stand was repossessed and re-allocated by another person.

"The problem was that after the repossession, proper documents were then generated by council effecting changes."

Mr Pawadyira strongly warned council employees to desist from illegally parcelling out land.

"Do we have a proper procedural way of giving these home industry stands?" he said. "If it is there, to what extent is it being followed?"

Mr Chiundura indicated that the local authority had a policy for repossessions of residential, commercial and industrial stands.

According to Mr Pawadyira, the document outlining such a policy had to be circulated to every council department.

"Why I am asking, I was having a case in Zengeza 5 of a council employee, a revenue officer, who was authorised to occupy our football pitch," he said. "He had converted it to a car park. He is being paid money by people, pocketing (money) when he does not have any documents to show that he is the owner.

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