14 March 2018

Zimbabwe: Residents Lock Out G40-Linked Rural Councils' CEO's

Local residents last week locked Wedza rural district council CEO out of his office and barred him from reporting for work, accusing him of corruption and supporting then Zanu PF Generation 40 (G40) faction.

Scores of Wedza residents last Wednesday held a demonstration at the council offices where they disrupted operations before they locked J. Kundeya out of his office.

Business at the council offices was brought to a standstill as angry residents accused Kundeya of using a council tractor and truck for personal operations at his farm also in Wedza and in the process hampering service delivery.

The locals also alleged that Kundeya was a G40 member and should be removed from office with immediate effect as he was promoting factional politics in the district. Since then, Kundeya has not been reporting for duty as angry residents have promised to assault him if he ever reports for duty.

Also, on the same day, over 100 Chivhu residents held a demonstration in the town against the Chikomba rural district CEO, Luckson Mutara, on allegations that he was corrupt and was a member of the G40 faction.

The residents demanded that Mutara and the entire Chikomba RDC management be fired for corruption, nepotism and indulging in Zanu PF's factional politics.

"Our investigations have unearthed that Mutara is abusing council resources to build a dam at his farm, a shop and house in Chivhu town," an official of the Chikomba Residents and Ratepayers Association said at the weekend.

He also accused the CEO of allocating "vast tracts of land" to a trust fund run by a local boxer.

The official claimed that Mutara and another council official, only identified as Mudzimu, were board members of the boxer's trust fund and were, as a result, in conflict of interest.

Police, last week, tried to block the Chivhu demonstration before the disgruntled ratepayers made an urgent application at the High Court seeking permission. The order was then granted.

The demonstrations in the two Mashonaland East districts came only a few days after the former Mashonaland East resident minister, Ambrose Mutinhiri announced that he was resigning from Zanu PF and his Marondera West parliamentary seat claiming he was unhappy that the military had staged a coup to remove former president, Robert Mugabe from office.

Mutinhiri, who was reported to be part of the G40 faction, has since confirmed that he is the interim president of the National Patriotic Front (NPF), a political party suspected to be a grouping of fired Zanu PF G40 faction members.

Among the dismissed G40 members is Grace Mugabe, the former First Lady, who also hails from Chikomba and is believed to be playing an influential role in the NPF's formation.

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