Blessings Chidakwa Municipality Correspondent
A storm is brewing at the Harare City Council, amid allegations that a senior official in the housing department allocated stands to family members based in Australia who do not meet the city’s waiting list criteria.
This comes after Kuwadzana district officer Mrs Betty Mbara unprocedurally allocated stands to her son, Justin Mazodzore, and daughter-in- law Alice Mandivenga.
The stands initially belonged to Moleen Matangira and Mercy Munhori.
Mbara allegedly abused her position as she was responsible for the processing and approval of clearance certificates for land intrinsic value payment from cooperative management.
According to official council audit documents in possession of The Herald, Mbara illegally allocated stand number 17009 to Mazorodze and 16978 to Mandivenga, both in Kuwadzana.
The local authority has since resolved to take disciplinary action against her.
“That the acting human capital director refines all the charges levelled against the former district officer in question and institute appropriate disciplinary action on the employee,” read the audit document.
“That it be noted Justin Mazodzore and Alice Mandivenga, who are the former district officer’s children, are not resident in Zimbabwe, hence do not deserve allocation of stands 17009 and 16978 Kuwadzana as this violates the by-laws of the co-operatives, which stipulates that the beneficiary should be resident in the country.”
Council internal investigations revealed that Mbara connived with a housing co-operative official in the scam.
“The audit manager had carried out an investigation into the above matter after being requested by the Director of Housing and Community Services to look into the allegations levelled against a district officer who is alleged to have connived with a faction of a management committee of Herbert Chitepo Housing Co-operative to allocate stand numbers 17009 and 16978 in Kuwadzana to her relatives living abroad,” read the document.
The local authority and “actual” beneficiaries, Matangira and Munhori, have since lost a legal wrangle with Mbara’s beneficiaries after a judgment was passed in default as they failed to attend court sessions.