Tuesday, 8 September 2020

MDC BIGWIG IN GWERU STAND SCAM


GWERU City Council (GCC) officials allegedly allocated each other more than one stand against the council policy allowing just one stand per person.

According to the employment conditions for managers and councillors, each of them is entitled to buy only one stand but officials went against this policy and allocated each other more than one stand.

Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) said it is looking into the matter.

According to documents in possession of this publication, officials in the Housing and Community Services department allegedly allocated themselves more than a stand each at a time when there is a moratorium on the selling of stands. 

An MDC-Alliance member Mr Murisi Zwizwai also benefited from the scam and paid a paltry ZW$12 437 for stand number 3042 Randolph Phase 1 which is 5 407m2, seven years after he was offered the stand.

On the market, a stand which is 1 000m2 is going for about US$10 000 but council sold Mr Zwizwai 5 407m2 for less than US$120.

According to council regulations, after receiving a stand offer letter, Mr Zwizwai was supposed to have paid a deposit within seven days.

He was supposed to have been given a two-year grace period to pay the balance failure of which could have resulted in the repossession of the stand. 

Mr Zwizwai only paid for the stand this month.

According to City of Gweru debtors billing document in possession of the Chronicle, the director of Housing and Community Services Mr Shingirirayi Tigere got one stand in Randolph Phase 1 and another one in Senga suburb.

Mr Tigere has since made part payment towards the purchase of the two stands.

Mr Tigere’s assistant Mrs Unity Jaji also got a stand in Randolph Phase 1 and another one in Mkoba 21 and has also made part payment towards the purchase of the two stands.

Another assistant director Mr Manford Gambiza was also allocated a stand in Mkoba 21 and another in Randolph Phase 1 and has since made part payment towards the purchase of the two stands.

Housing officer Mr Admire Chigayo also got a stand in Randolph Phase 1 and the second one in Mkoba 21.
  
Mr Biggie Ngadze, a senior administration officer was allocated a stand in Mkoba 21 and another one in Randolph Phase 1 and has since made part payment towards the purchase of the two stands.

Mr Tigere’s secretary Mrs Emma Manyika was allocated a stand in Mkoba 21 and another one in Randolph Phase 2. The Chronicle has documents confirming the beneficiaries’ stand numbers and amounts paid so far towards the purchase of the stands.

Contacted for comment, Mr Zwizwai said he has been paying for the stand since 2013.

“I have been paying for the stand in Gweru, that all I can say,” he said.

Mr Tigere, Mrs Jaji, Mr Gambiza, Mr Ngadze, Mr Chigayo and Mrs Manyika said they were not allowed to speak to the Press as council had channels of communication.

Contacted for comment, Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe accused Mr Tigere and his subordinates of abusing council resources for their benefit.

He said it was baffling that Mr Tigere and his subordinates allocated themselves stands against council policy which limits individuals to just one stand.

Clr Makombe said the action by Mr Tigere is a clear evidence of rampant abuse of office by management. 

He said he has since instructed the internal auditor to look into the matter and warned heads will soon roll at Town House.

“The director of Housing and Community Services and his subordinates have allocated themselves more than one stand each against council policy. Employees in the department of Engineering Services have also done the same. We can’t have that as it is tantamount to poor corporate governance,” said Clr Makombe.

He said Mr Tigere and other managers are entitled to one stand each as part of their conditions of service.

Asked to comment on Mr Zwizwai’s case, Clr Makombe said he should have responded to the council offer within the stipulated period.

He however, said he was not aware why the stand was not repossessed given that others who failed to respond to offers within the given time had their stands repossessed.

“I will need to look into this matter. It’s all administrative and if we are not alerted by whistle blowers like in this case, we will be in the dark,” said Clr Makombe. 

He said council had stopped selling land because of the Government’s moratorium on selling of land within local authorities..

“We have investors who want to invest and need land but we are not selling the land because we are following the circular on the moratorium by the ministry,” said Clr Makombe.

He said he has since engaged Zacc and the police to assist council investigate suspected abuse of council resources by council managers.

“We approached Zacc and they said they are coming and it has been long. We have a situation where management is abusing resources and the residents will think that it’s the councillors. We are appealing for assistance from relevant law enforcement agencies to bring order to our council,” said Clr Makombe.

Zacc spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure said they are making a follow up. Chronicle

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