Zimbabwe: Housing Co-Op Management Under Fire

Harare — MANAGEMENT at Sally Mugabe Housing Co-operative should answer to charges of gross mismanagement, corruption and breach of law, the Government has said.

Investigations by the Ministry of Anti Corruption and Anti Monopolies have revealed that the management circumvented some section of the Co-operatives Act and involved themselves in clandestine deals.

The findings come after the co-operative supervisory committee accused the management of failing to perform in terms of the guidelines as set out in the Co-operative Act.

According to a report from the ministry, it was established that there was gross mismanagement of the co-operatives vehicles as personal property, exchange of cars for land and corruption in the allocation land.

"The management committee at a meeting on the 28th of February 2006 argued that the cars belonged to G8 and not the co-operative. Further research showed that the management committee members had shared the cars for personal use," the report by Anti-Corruption and Anti- Monopolies Senior Research Officer a Mr M Dzichauya said.

He noted that it also came to light that a Mr Ngwenya and a Mr Chivaviro, members of the committee had received cars from a Mr Mukanganwi in exchange of stands.

The registration books for the vehicles, he said, showed that they were Sally Mugabe co-operative property.

Mr Dzichauya further said members of the management committee and not the co-operative members were using funds from the sales of bricks, rentals of the co-op houses, trucks and brick moulding machines.

The management committee failed to submit their bank statements for September and December last year, when asked to do so.

However, Mr Ngwenya had banked a $150 million cheque which he claimed he borrowed from a Mr Mukanganwi.

Mr Dzichauya also said the allegations of the management committee having each received a suit was not established but supervisory committee members like Mr Chaburuka had more details on the issue.

"The management has a case to answer," he said urging the supervisory committee to report the case to the police. The ministry has since written to the Criminal Investigation Department Serious Frauds Squad to fully investigate the various allegations levelled against the management.

The supervisory committee, which represents the general membership of the co-operative, took the management to court seeking an order to suspend them from conducting business affairs of the co-operative.

The committee also alleges that the management had overstayed and no elections have been held since 2001.

But the management in their opposing papers also filed at the High Court claim that the committee had no mandate to bring the case to court.

The co-operative chairman Mr Simbarashe Mushayi, on behalf of the management argued in his papers that the co-operative was being run professionally urging the court to dismiss the committee application with costs on the basis that the allegations were false.

Early last month the committee took the management to the High Court seeking an order to stop them from carrying out activities on behalf of the organisation until the outcome of elections.

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