Bu­l­awayo coun­cil­lor ‘sells dis­count fa­cil­ity stand twice’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Andile Tshuma and Vusumuzi Dube

BARELY three months af­ter the Govern­ment sus­pended five Bu­l­awayo coun­cil­lors on cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions, an­other coun­cil­lor has been caught on the wrong side of the law af­ter al­legedly sell­ing a res­i­den­tial stand to two buy­ers.

Ward 23 coun­cil­lor, Thobani Ncube was ar­raigned be­fore West Com­mon­age mag­is­trate, Ms Tancy Dube fac­ing one count of fraud.

Ac­cord­ing to court pa­pers he de­frauded Ms Vainah Moyo (54) of $12 000.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions have re­vealed that Ncube pur­chased the res­i­den­tial stand, which is lo­cated in Mat­sheumh­lope, un­der a dis­counted govern­ment fa­cil­ity.

Coun­cil­lors are not al­lowed to re­sell the dis­counted stands.

Ward 21 coun­cil­lor, Reuben Matengu re­mains on sus­pen­sion af­ter he sold his res­i­den­tial stand bought un­der a sim­i­lar fa­cil­ity.

Ncube who re­sides in Belle­vue sub­urb — de­spite rep­re­sent­ing a ward which in­cludes Nku­lumane 5, 10 and 11— was not asked to plead to the charge and re­manded out of cus­tody to De­cem­ber 8.

Pros­e­cut­ing, Mr Mu­faro Mageza said some­time in July this year, the com­plainant, Ms Moyo met Ncube via a mid­dle­man, who is also a coun­cil­lor, Rod­ney Jele (Ward 22).

“On an un­known date but in the pe­riod ex­tend­ing from July 25 to Oc­to­ber 1 this year, the com­plainant met the ac­cused per­son with the in­ten­tion of buy­ing a res­i­den­tial stand. The com­plainant paid $12 000 in in­stal­ments to­wards the pur­chase of the stand.

“In Novem­ber 2016, the com­plainant wanted to write up an agree­ment of sale, only to dis­cover that the same stand had been sold to Mn­van­geli Xaba,” said the pros­e­cu­tor.

Ms Moyo told the court she had paid $12 000 to­wards the pur­chase of stand num­ber 364, Mat­sheumh­lope sub­urb.

“I ran around look­ing for a stand on be­half of some­one else. I met one Rod­ney Jele, an­other coun­cil­lor, and he told me that Thobani Ncube was sell­ing a res­i­den­tial stand. We met him and he con­firmed that he was sell­ing res­i­den­tial stand num­ber 364 Mat­sheumh­lope sub­urb for $23 000.

“Af­ter a down pay­ment of $12 000, I phoned the ac­cused per­son and told him to write up an agree­ment of sale but he gave me an un­sat­is­fac­tory ex­pla­na­tion. He started ig­nor­ing my calls and he was nowhere to be seen. That is when I dis­cov­ered that I had been duped,” said Ms Moyo.

Jele con­firmed that he was the mid­dle­man in the sale of the stand, re­veal­ing that Ncube had claimed Ms Moyo was fail­ing to pay for the stand.

“I re­mem­ber in the month of July 2016, I was ap­proached by the com­plainant who told me that she was look­ing for a res­i­den­tial stand to buy in Mat­sheumh­lope, Bu­l­awayo, and I told her that the ac­cused per­son (Ncube) had one which was up for sale. I as­sisted the two to meet and they ne­go­ti­ated the price and the terms of pay­ment.

“Af­ter some time, the ac­cused per­son came back to me and told me that the com­plainant was fail­ing to pay for the stand and he wanted an­other buyer. I also ran around and met Mvan­geli Xaba. The two reached an agree­ment and I was asked by the ac­cused per­son to wit­ness said Jele.

Dur­ing court pro­ceed­ings the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer, De­tec­tive Con­sta­ble Try­more Bvukuta op­posed bail re­veal­ing that the coun­cil­lor had not been co­op­er­a­tive when asked to come to the po­lice sta­tion.

Ncube was also said to have no per­ma­nent place of res­i­dence. Coun­cil records state that he re­sides at house num­ber 11369 Nku­lumane but the court doc­u­ments give his place of res­i­dence as num­ber 24 Churchill Road, Belle­vue.

He was re­manded for com­mence­ment of trial to De­cem­ber 8 on $100 bail.

In Septem­ber this year, Lo­cal Govern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Min­is­ter, Cde Saviour Ka­sukuwere sus­pended five coun­cil­lors in the city on cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions.

Two of the sus­pended coun­cil­lors — Matengu and Clr Mzama Dube (Ward 25) — al­legedly vi­o­lated terms of their agree­ments of sale by sell­ing stands they had bought from the lo­cal au­thor­ity un­der min­is­te­rial di­rec­tive. — @andile_t­shuma/@vu­sadb it,”

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