Friday, 16 October 2020

LAND SCAMS : THREE COUNCIL OFFICIALS QUIT

THREE Mutare City Council senior officials who were facing disciplinary hearings over their alleged involvement in stand scandals have resigned before the conclusion of the inquiries.

Messrs Joachim Gonese, Isdore Bingura and Christian Sithole who were respectively employed as evaluator, para-legal officer and senior committee officer recently tendered their resignation letters to Town Clerk, Mr Joshua Maligwa.

The hearings, which were being presided over by former Judge, Justice Chinhengo, were subsequently terminated on September 24 after the resignations. The local authority’s spokesperson, Mr Spren Mutiwi, confirmed the development.

Justice Chinhengo explained: “Joachim Gonese was suspended from employment by his employer on seven allegations of misconduct on August 20, 2019. He was alleged to have committed several acts of misconduct in performing his duties as a valuer in an improper and inconsistent manner by undervaluing residential and industrial stands, coming up with different rates for stands of the same size and in the same area.”

Mr Gonese is also alleged to have failed to maintain a sound valuation system for stands earmarked for disposal. He was also not keeping proper records for authentication of land values. He would promise land seekers that he could secure residential stands for them and receive cash from them.

Justice Chinhengo said due to these allegations, Mr Gonese was accordingly charged with misconduct, incompetency and fraud.

Justice Chinhengo said Messrs Sithole and Bingura were put on forced leave in April 2018 to pave way for investigations to ascertain their role, if any, in the disposal of council land.

“A land audit had commenced and there were suspicions that the employees would interfere with it,” he said. Manica Post

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