Zimbabwe: Land Scam Masterminds in Council Skating On Thin Ice

5 August 2020

The Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU), which is working jointly with other law enforcement agents to expose land corruption scandals within council yesterday said investigations were at an advance stage and would soon move in to round up all councillors and officials implicated in the illicit activities.

This comes after at least five Harare City councillors were placed under investigations on allegations of parcelling out land to business entities and land barons who would not have even applied for it for the purposes of development.

The Herald has it on good authority that once investigations have been completed, the five who are all from the Education, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committee would be arrested before facing prosecution.

They are Councillors Hammy Madzingira (chairperson of the committee) for Ward 10, Costa Mande (Ward 14), Tonderai Chakeredza (Ward 31), Lovemore Makuwere (Ward 24) and Anthony Shingadeya (Ward 11).

The matter is being handled by SACU who are working with other law enforcement agents, conducting investigations and compiling dockets on the suspects.

SACU is spearheading a nationwide probe on the urban councils to arrest and prosecute all corrupt elements.

The head of SACU Mr Thabani Mpofu said investigations were still being conducted.

"I am aware that police have numerous reports pertaining to the irregular allocation of stands by city councillors working in connivance with council employees and officials. I am aware that the ZRP is involved in intense and thorough investigations on the issues and so is Zacc.

"We may see these cases in our courts soon. However, I am sorry for now I cannot comment any further than that (for fear of jeopardising investigations)," he said.

In a new development, Clr Madzingira and Clr Makuwere are also being investigated for fresh allegations after they allegedly illegally sold two stands for US$30 000 each to two people identified as Tendai Mtisi and Charlie T. Acme in Vainona in January this year.

Investigations carried out revealed that the two connived to fast track and sell to the two people stands number 597 and 599 on January 17 this year.

It is alleged that all the processes for all the documentation to offer the two was done on the same date, a process that could have taken long for them to purchase the properties.

The payments were then made through a woman identified as Catherine Nyamhamba who is alleged to have handed over the cash to the two councillors.

Clr Mandzingira and Clr Makuwere are among the other three suspects who last year sat as a committee when they resolved that some business entities and individuals should have pieces of land be sold to them for development purposes when they had not applied from city council.

Some of these businesses offered to purchase the land for purposes of flats development or residential apartments when the resolutions were made in December last year and these companies were expected to pay council various amounts of money by January 15, this year.

The areas, which they were offered include Marlborough, Southerton, Borrowdale West, New Adbennie and Glen View, among others.

In all these cases, the council officials signed a memorandum of agreement with the company officials who they said wanted to build four walk-up storey apartments in these areas.

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