Re­port de­tails mas­sive cor­rup­tion at City Coun­cil

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Na­tional News -

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


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