Yeukai Karengezeka Municipal Correspondent
Corruption-riddled Chitungwiza Municipality has allegedly sold almost 1 000 residential and commercial stands since January this year without following the prescribed housing policy procedures.
Minutes of the housing committee dated August 5 show that it was recommended that council adopts 870 stands offered to beneficiaries from January to August.
One of the resolutions contained in the minutes is that council should “adopt the allocation of 265 commercial stands, 14 industrial stands, six institutional stands, 585 residential stands and 19 residential stands as a condition of service to councillors”.
The report said council had identified infill stands through the Department of Planning and offer letters were issued through the Department of Housing.
“Most of those on priority list were reallocations due to double allocations and some ware special cases which mainly considers those on national duty like the army and the police,” read the minutes.
However, Chitungwiza Ward 13 Cllr Kevin Mutimbanyoka told The Herald that the stands in question were first sold without council resolution and the directors now wanted to sanitise their dirty work.
“Corruption is killing our town and there is no service delivery to talk about while some councillors and then two directors are busy selling out stands and those on the housing waiting list are not benefiting,” he said.
Cllr Mutimbanyoka said since the suspension of Dr George Makunde in August, at least 150 offer letters had been issued with the majority of the beneficiaries being MDC councillors and officials.
Responding to the allegations, Mayor Cllr Lovemore Maiko said it was the duty of the forensic audit to expose any anomalies on land issues.
“I cannot comment over such allegations but what I can tell you is that council has since approved that a forensic audit on land be undertaken to address all related matters,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cllr Maiko has chose two law firms to conduct the hearing of Dr Makunde who has been paid a deposit of $35 000 without a council resolution in place.
“(Cllr) Maiko, before engaging any law firms, he was supposed to have a council resolution and after that a procurement process was supposed to be followed and it is the Auditor-General’s Office which is supposed to advise law firms to engage but that was not followed,” said Cllr Mutimbanyoka.
“So far council paid the law firm of Effort Jera, who is the chairman of the disciplinary committee, a deposit $20 000 and $15 000 to Mbizo, Muchadehama and Makoni law firm and will be charging per hour until the hearing is completed.”