Report details massive corruption at City Council
It is further alleged that the local authority allocated a school site stand to a company called Green Pigeons Trust, in November 2013, a company which is reportedly linked to Clr Banda.
With regards to the Ascot stand, among other irregularities, it is said the suspended deputy mayor has not paid the one quarter required deposit.
He paid just $25 000, of which $19 500 was meant for Value Added Tax (VAT), meaning just $5 500 was towards the $130 000 purchase price.
“The committee also observed that council has incurred costs on the development of the road leading to the (Ascot) property whilst there are other surrounding roads which also need attention and they have not been given such attention.
“The committee observed that the councillor (Banda) has started development of the same stand by putting up a perimeter wall without an approval of such plans by council which is a requisite requirement,” reads the report.
Further, it was noted that at the time of the council resolution to award Clr Banda the Ascot stand, was made, there was a circular in place dated October 2014 banning the preferential sale of stands to councillors.
The suspended deputy mayor owes council $131 709.
Suspended ward seven councillor, Clr James Sithole reportedly got a town house stand in Parklands, a lease for an urban agriculture stand measuring 3,5 hectares at Dunstal, at flea market stall in Makokoba and also leased a shop in the same suburb.
The investigation team noted that the allocation of the Parklands town house stand to Clr Sithole was done in the name of the ministerial directive even though it amounts to a stretching of the definition of a commercial stand as envisaged in the government circular on councillors’ benefits. Clr Sithole owes council $216 176. Another of the suspended councillors, Clr Charles Moyo from ward nine also got a town houses stand in Parklands, with the investigating team noting that he used his office to acquire properties.
It was further discovered that council officials advised against the allocation of the said property as it was in violation of council’s disposal procedures. However, councillors rejected their advice. He also has not paid the local authority anything for the stand, hence owes $137 420.
Clr Moyo also got a stand at Burnside measuring 3 749 square metres and has not paid for it.
Clrs Reuben Matengu (ward 21) and Mzama Dube (ward 25) allegedly violated terms of their agreement of sale by selling stands they had bought from the local authority under the ministerial directive.
Other councillors with queer cases although they were not dismissed include Cowdray Park’s Clr Collet Ndhlovu who reportedly applied for a stand big enough to construct a shopping complex.
“He (Clr Ndhlovu) applied for eight bays which in terms of Bulawayo standards is a whole shopping complex enough to accommodate two upmarket supermarkets since they usually allocate four bays for such a supermarket,” reads the report.
Among the recommendations put forward by the investigating team council will cancel the agreement of sale for Clr Banda for the purchase of the Ascot stand due to the failure to meet the procedural requirements of council in disposal of such properties.
The team also recommended that Clrs Sithole and Moyo’s town house allocations be cancelled.
“For all councillors who have been allocated properties for purchase and have failed or neglected to pay deposits or the purchase price in line with council regulations should have those properties repossessed.
“All properties leased out to councillors who are failing to pay the rentals should be repossessed and council should recover directly from those councillors,” reads the report.
The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) initially raised the red flag over the rate at which councillors were allegedly grabbing land in the city leading to the government sending an investigation team to get to the bottom of the matter.
The team was expected to investigate circumstances surrounding the purchase of the Ascot Race Course piece of land by Clr Banda. He was also in the eye of the storm regarding the upgrading of the Egodini bus terminus amid allegations that he was linked to the company — Terracotta — which had been awarded the $60 million project. — @vusadb
SEE TABLE FOR FULL ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ALL THE 29 BULAWAYO COUNCILLORS (left)