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Chiredzi Scam: suspects dead as Gov sits on reports


Chiredzi Scam: suspects dead as Gov sits on reports




CHIREDZI – A 2016 report on investigations into unbridled corruption bedeviling Chiredzi Town Council was released by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works last week but most of the key suspects  are now dead.

The investigations substantiated astounding cases of corruption and recommended action to be taken but the report for most part may now just be academic as the accused to the allegations are no longer there to answer.

It took the Ministry seven years to release its findings into allegations of corruption involving illegal sale of stands, abuse of council vehicles, illegal disposal of commonage stands, unapproved land deals between council and land developers and payment of secret and unbudgeted allowances to councilors and council management.

The investigations done on the instigation of the then Chiredzi West MP, Darlington Chiwa and United Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (UCRRA) saw Government recommending for the suspension of the entire council and replacing it with a Commission. However, the non-release of the report resulted in the councilors finishing their terms in 2018 and some even getting golden handshakes including the then chairman, Francis Moyo who walked away with a council vehicle.

One of the councilors Gibson Hwende accused of walking away with 46 residential stands was reelected in 2018 and is now the council chairman despite the negative report.

Minister July Moyo only released the report after United Chiredzi Residents Association engaged a lawyer and sued the Ministry in the High Court for the report.

Key suspects mentioned in illegal deals who are now late include former Chiredzi town secretary, Charles Muchatutwa who faced numerous counts of corruption including buying a low density council house for just US$15 000; Herbert Muchehiwa the proprietor of Concorde Engineering who charged council US$19 000 for building a road culvert and Gerazinos Bambazha, former housing director who entered into a verbal agreement with Shine Plus releasing hundreds of hectares of land to the company and allegedly receiving a US$65 000 Isuzu.

A councilor who was the finance committee chairperson, Samuel Mashonganyika ironically committed suicide after allegedly selling one residential stand to different persons. Another councillor, Jesta Muteyaunga who allegedly built cattle pens in a residential area and told the investigating team that he had the blessings of former First Lady Grace Mugabe is also late.

The Mirror will be serializing the findings of the report.

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