Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Reporter
HARARE mayor Jacob Mafume, his deputy Luckson Munguma and Clr Anthony Shingadeya, who are facing corruption charges have been suspended as councillors for ward 17, 25 and 11 respectively, acting Local Government and Public Works Minister Mr Jenfan Muswere has said.
This comes as the net has been closing in on top council officials and MDC-Alliance councillors in Harare, who have been in the habit of parcelling council land and lining their pockets from the shady dealings.
It also comes as some MDC-Alliance councillors have admitted to parcelling stands to their cronies in order to stock a war chest for the opposition ahead of the 2023 elections.
According to a letter written by Minister Muswere dated January 22 and addressed separately to the MDC trio, there is reasonable ground to suspect that the three are guilty of misconduct as established by a preliminary report dated December 14, 2020.
“During the period of the said suspension you shall not conduct any business for or on behalf of council within or outside council premises and you shall not be eligible to receive any form of remuneration,” read a letter that was written to Mafume.
According to the suspension letter for Mafume allegations are that he approached Harare council officials namely Mr Nhekairo, Dzehonye and Mrs Tendai Koke to allocate unserviced residential stands to Rotina Mafume and Ruvimbo Mafume in Westlea Township on layout plan TRF/WR/12/17 Westlea on March 2020 without following council allocation procedure.
Apart from that Mafume is also facing allegations of approaching the same officials to allocate residential stands to individuals only identified as Choruma, Muchengwa and Mupindu in Greengrove on layout plan number TPF/ER/07/19/1 without following council allocation procedures.
All the beneficiaries were not on the housing waiting list while the allocation processes were not in line with the Urban Councils Act and council allocation procedures were violated.
On the other hand, Mukunguma has a litany of allegations cited in his suspension letter including that on March 2017 he instructed the director of Corporate Services and Housing to allocate stands to Blue Star housing pay scheme from layout plan TRF/WR/06/17 which had been allocated to Probation Infill paying housing scheme, disregarding legal processes outlined in the Urban Council’s Act (Chapter 29:15) and council allocation processes.
He also stands accused of facilitating the illegal allocation of land to a company identified as Hardspec Investments Private Limited through an offer letter valid for two days until September 2019 without following procedure.
After the offer had lapsed for over five months, it is alleged that in his capacity as chairman of the finance committee that authorises land sales, he further authorised and facilitated the unprocedural payment of $5 million on January 7, 2020, $20 million and $1,9 million which were made on February 18, 2020, from Hardspec Investment.
Mukunguma is said to have also unprocedurally authorised and facilitated the sale of 7 000 square metres of council land, an open space along Glen Eagles Road next to Eaglesvale to a local company called Continental Wire Products without following council allocation procedure.
Another charge levelled against him is that he facilitated the sale of land surrounding City Sports Centre for undisclosed amounts without following council allocation procedure.
All the beneficiaries were not on the waiting list.
Minister Muswere said the allegations amount to gross misconduct, gross incompetence and wilful violation of the law.
On the other hand Shingadeya on December 16, 2019, also approached and instructed Mr Nhekairo and Dzehonye to allocate residential stands to 11 companies that were not on the waiting list and further the allocations were in violation of the council’s allocation procedure as well as the Urban Councils Act.
Among the beneficiaries there Plushfort Property Developer allocated stand number 4920 in Malborough Township, Hayes Construction Pvt Ltd was allocated 19376 in Southerton, and Quorn Pvt Ltd (18254 in Borrowdale West layout plan number TP2F1892/1). Sunfirm Distributors was allocated 1730/Lot 46 in Ardbennie of Block MM township layout plan number TP2F2232.
Others are Sunfirm Distributors which was allocated 1730/Lot 46 in Ardbennie of Block MM township layout plan number TP2F2232.
MDC Alliance councillors have rundown the country’s major cities and towns as they flagrantly line their pockets at the expense of service delivery.
In Harare residents often go without water and heaps of garbage have turned the once sunshine city into a mess where roads are potholed while council officials live large.