Re­port de­tails mas­sive cor­rup­tion at City Coun­cil LOOTERS PAR­ADISE

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Chronicle - Vusumuzi Dube

DE­TAILS have emerged on the var­i­ous prop­er­ties Bulawayo city coun­cil­lors al­legedly cor­ruptly dis­persed among them­selves with rev­e­la­tions that land and prop­erty grab­bing- en­masse- within the lo­cal author­ity be­came in­tense start­ing May last year.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by a com­mit­tee from the Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing, coun­cil­lors owe a to­tal of $662 299 as they have de­faulted in pay­ing for the cor­ruptly-ac­quired prop­er­ties and those that they are also leas­ing in vi­o­la­tion of coun­cil reg­u­la­tions and pro­vi­sions.

Coun­cil has fur­ther lost $3 278 in rented leases which were of­fered to coun­cil­lors but have not yet com­menced pay­ing for the monthly rental.

So deep is the cor­rup­tion that even a for­mer coun­cil­lor, Mr Ed­ward Man­ning, al­legedly ben­e­fited from the il­licit deals which saw him pur­chase a stand on 40 per­cent dis­count, a fa­cil­ity only open to serv­ing coun­cil­lors due to a min­is­te­rial di­rec­tive.

Coun­cil pro­ce­dure bars de­vel­op­ment on land be­fore one pays at least 25 per­cent of the pur­chase price but coun­cil­lors were al­legedly de­vel­op­ing their ac­qui­si­tions, most of them be­fore pay­ing any­thing.

Five coun­cil­lors deemed to be the most cor­rupt, were sus­pended on Tues­day and only five out of the city’s 29 coun­cil­lors were found clean.

The 24 “dirty coun­cil­lors” will soon ap­pear be­fore a tri­bunal.

The pe­jo­ra­tive re­port notes that sus­pended deputy mayor, Clr Gift Banda, in ad­di­tion to the 3,5 hectare As­cot stand for the con­struc­tion of town houses, also got a lease for land to con­struct a so­cial club at Hume Park.

He is ac­cused of us­ing his in­flu­ence to se­cure a lease for the prop­erty. The lease was done with­out fol­low­ing laid down coun­cil pro­ce­dures which in­clude go­ing to ten­der.

“The Hume Park stand was an ap­pli­ca­tion to lease land to con­struct a so­cial club be­tween Sec­ond and Fourth Av­enue; along Sa­muel Parireny­atwa Street, by a com­pany called En­ter­tain­ment Head­quar­ters.

“The ap­pli­ca­tion was pre­sented by a com­pany di­rectly linked to Gift Banda as can be seen from the project pro­posal in which Gift Banda signed as a prin­ci­pal part­ner, on the coun­cil min­utes dated 3/09/2014, it is in­di­cated that he de­clared his in­ter­est and re­cused him­self from the pro­ceed­ings,” reads part of the re­port.

Sus­pended deputy mayor, Clr Gift Banda

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