Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has set sights on cleansing local authorities of corrupt officials, with Chitungwiza, Harare and Victoria Falls topping the investigations list, an official has said.
ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo said the net was closing in on all council officials implicated in graft, with ZACC having signed papers to investigate Victoria Falls town clerk Ronnie Dube, who suspiciously allocated himself 15 000 hectares of land.
ZACC yesterday also picked up Chitungwiza housing director Hazel Sithole for interviews over a land scandal.
Sithole has another pending court case in which she allegedly allocated a commercial stand worth over $30 000 to a local company, Metalhill Investments (Pvt) Ltd, without following due process.
She was freed on $500 bail on Monday. Justice Matanda-Moyo said the arrest of corrupt local authorities’ officials was imminent. “More arrests for Chitungwiza and Harare are on their way,” she said.
“A Chitungwiza housing director has been picked for interviews and we are yet to make a decision to make her either a witness or an accused.”
In the past administration, the vice of corruption in local authorities has been rife and reached alarming levels, with officials walking scot-free after fleecing ratepayers of their money. Justice Matanda-Moyo said the anti-corruption team was also investigating all local authorities across the country.
“Papers have also been signed for an investigation of land sales involving Victoria Falls municipality town clerk Dube over the alleged unprocedural selling of 15 000 hectares of land to himself,” she said.
ZACC is leaving no stone unturned in fighting graft, with Chitungwiza mayor Lovemore Maiko, ward 2 councillor Kudakwashe John and works director David Duma, among top council officials, arrested on graft charges with pending cases.
The trio is being charged with criminal abuse of office involving the selling of commercial land in Chitungwiza, including 2 000 square metres at Chigovanyika Shopping Centre.
They later sold 1 500 of land to Maiko’s wife after a council resolution they made.
Harare City Council has numerous cases of corruption, including one in which Kuwadzana district officer Mrs Betty Mbara allocated stands to her son, Justin Mazodzore, and daughter-in- law Alice Mandivenga who is based in Australia and does not meet the city’s waiting list criteria.