Wednesday, 12 February 2020


MDC Alliance president Mr Nelson Chamisa on Tuesday threw former Bulawayo deputy mayor, Mr Gift Banda under the bus when he declared that his party will investigate circumstances leading to him acquiring a 3,5-hectare piece of land at Ascot race course.

The former deputy mayor who is now the MDC Alliance Member of Parliament for Njube-Lobengula constituency, bought the piece of land in 2015 and was cleared of any wrong doing by an independent tribunal. He has since built town houses on the land.

Responding to questions from journalists on Tuesday, Adv Chamisa while professing ignorance on the purchase, said he was shocked that Mr Banda was allowed to go ahead as this was against the principles of the opposition party. He revealed that they will investigate the circumstances leading to the purchase.

The latest sentiments by Adv Chamisa come at a time when Mr Banda is out on bail in a case where he is accused of conniving with a local real estate company to forge signatures to sell a residential stand in Selbourne Brooke in Bulawayo.

“Going forward, within the party, certain elements have to be subjected to interrogation and enquiries so that we maintain the highest of standards, so there will be no sacred cows. Now that I am aware that is what the former deputy mayor did, we shall get to the bottom of it.

“Actually, all local authorities are going to be subjected to this integrity and accountability tests. We now have hotlines where if our councillors or mayors have crossed the line, we won’t hesitate to throw them out,” Adv Chamisa. 

He blasted councillors from his party for focusing on self-enrichment, forgetting their mandate of serving the communities that elected them.

“I have told our councillors that their duty is to become centres of excellence and sources of a difference in our politics. Most of the councillors from our party now think MDC is an employment agency where people are employed in local authorities or Parliament

“Integrity is what we demand hence the Banda issue has to be investigated. I am honestly shocked that part of the race course was sold to an individual, it’s bizarre, we want to understand the circumstances, especially when you are saying it was the former deputy mayor, perhaps it was a legal transaction but there is a clear conflict of interest,” he said.
Mr Chamisa said there were rules that will help deal with the former deputy mayor.

“In the MDC we have implemented a new rule where we are saying all our leaders must sign the real change code of ethics and values, where we saying one is not allowed to benefit from positions. I know in Africa we have a saying that says a goat eats where it is tied, but the same goat is slaughtered at that same position, which is how we will be dealing with such people because it is a bad tendency,” he said.

Adv Chamisa said in some cases there was a significant change in the life styles of MDC-A councillors and MPs. “That is not proper because the essence of representation is not self-improvement but improve the communities that you represent,” said Adv Chamisa.

A number of councillors aligned to the opposition have previously been accused of corruption leading to their suspension by the Government. Chronicle


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