Monday, 14 September 2020

MAFUME NAMES CHONZI ACTING TOWN CLERK


Harare City Council has, with immediate effect, appointed health services director Dr Prosper Chonzi as acting town clerk.

Dr Chonzi stands in for Hosiah Chisango who was arrested last Thursday over alleged illegal land deals.

Chisango was yesterday denied bail when he appeared before Harare magistrate, Mrs Bianca Makwande. In an interview yesterday, Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume confirmed the appointment.

“The town clerk is appointed by the mayor and I have selected Dr Chonzi who is the most senior substantive director,” he said.

“He has acted in that position before and he also has the integrity to keep the ship balanced.” Dr Chonzi will act from September 14 up to September 30.

Chisango is being implicated in the illegal creation and allocation of stands on an open space in Kuwadzana 3 in July last year, without going through the legal process of changing land use.

Bluffhope Investments, through a letter to managing director, a Mrs Dumba, was allegedly allocated 14 of the stands and asked to pay $1,771 million to the city by Chisango, plus an extra $100 000 to GlenRoy (Private) Limited as a fee to justify the unprocedural allocation and another $100 000 by Nhekairo into a CBZ account held by someone called Kennedy Teerec.

Chisango’s arrest on illegal land deals follows that of former mayor Herbert Gomba, four councillors, two other directors one from the housing department Addmore Nhekairo and human capital director, Matthew Marara.

The four councillors who all sat on the Education, Housing and Community Services and Licensing Committee included chairperson, Clr Hammy Madzingira (Ward 10), Clr Lovemore Makuwere (Ward 24), Clr Costa Mande (Ward 14), and Clr Anthony Shingadeya (Ward 11).

Two months ago, 14 other Harare municipal officials, including two directors, were suspended for alleged corrupt land deals, which have prejudiced council of millions of US dollars. 

In his bail application yesterday, Chisango, through his lawyer Advocate Ray Goba, told the court that he would not interfere with witnesses once freed on bail.

He told the court that he was prepared to report twice a week to the police to cure fears he would abscond trial, and proposed a deposit of $20 000 as bail to allay State fears that he would not stand trial.

Nhekairo, who is charged together with Chisango, denied receiving a bribe and also sought bail, proposing to pay $20 000.

Nhekairo said he was granted bail in other cases with similar allegations and has not breached any of the conditions to date.

Suspended town planner Samuel Nyabezi, told the court that he could not interfere with witnesses since he has been suspended from work, adding that he was not at the epicentre of allegations.

The State led by Mr Michael Reza opposed bail saying the three were likely to evade trial and interfere with witnesses since they were high-ranking officials.

Mrs Makwande is expected to make a bail ruling today. Herald

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