Chitungwiza tribunal hearings begin

Lovemore Meya Herald Correspondent
Three zanu-pf councillors from Chitungwiza, who were suspended together with their MDC-T colleagues recently, on Friday appeared before the five-member independent tribunal to answer to charges of corruption.

The hearings, which started on Monday, will run until September 28 at Chitungwiza Municipality chambers. They are being represented by former council chamber secretary Ms Pricilla Vengesai, now a legal practitioner with Mboko T. G. Legal Practitioners.

An inside source revealed that other two councillors were set to appear for the tribunal today.

“Today (Friday) zanu-pf councillors appeared before the tribunal at Chitungwiza Municipality,” said the source. “The trio are Phanuel Katewa (Ward 20), Shadreck Mapuranga (Ward 4) and Amon Murandu (Ward 11).

“They are facing various charges which include violation of ministerial directives and unprocedural allocation of stands.

“The other two councillors, Betty Jason Dokora and Nicholas Mashayamombe, also from zanu-pf, who are represented by the same lawyer, will appear before the tribunal on August 3 facing the same allegations. The councillors pleaded not guilty.” First before the tribunal hearing on Thursday was Clr Wilfred Gwekwete who was not represented.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere suspended Chitungwiza mayor Phillip Mutoti and all 24 councillors on April 28 on allegations of corruptly allocating themselves vast tracts of land worth over $7 million.

The council has 14 MDC-T councillors, including Cllr Mutoti and 11 zanu-pf councillors.

A three-person caretaker commission led by Mr Pawadyira Madzudzo is now running the affairs of the cash-strapped council. An internal audit showed that councillors and officials unilaterally allocated themselves commercial and institutional stands.

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