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ZACC acts!

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…Seizes Chiredzi Town Council documents

GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA

MIRROR REPORTER

MASVINGO – In a growing signal that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is getting serious about corruption in Masvingo Province, the the Chapter 12 body has seized documents from Chiredzi Town Council as it starts investigations into alleged massive looting of commercial and residential stands in the lowveld town.

The documents that the Commission is after include council resolutions, minutes, letters from the Ministry, letters by council to clients and business partners, lists of beneficiaries of stands, council budgets, logbooks of all vehicles, vehicle disposal documents and agreements of sale between the local authority and land developers.

The seized documents will be kept at ZACC offices until investigations are finalised.

The investigation comes at a time when the same Commission has dragged Bikita Rural District Council (RDC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Chibhi to court over corruption allegations.

According to documents in the hands of The Mirror, ZACC obtained a warrant of search and seize against Chiredzi from Masvingo Provincial Magistrate Farai Gwitima on February 17, 2023. The warrant is to enable the Commission to charge suspects who were identified by a Government report for corruption.

ZACC spokesperson Thandiwe Mobane confirmed the seizure but declined to give further details.  

Acting Chiredzi Town Council secretary Engineer Wesley Kauma said he is not allowed to comment because investigations are underway.

The 2016 report of an investigation by the then Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing accuses former Council chairman Francis Moyo of getting 71 free residential stands from council; 11 low density and 60 high density stands. His seven fellow councilors each got 46 free residential stands; six of them low density while 40 were high density stands.

The report was however, only released a few weeks after residents’ associations took Minister of Local Government July Moyo to court over the results of the investigations.

The report opened a can of worms with various companies including Shine Plus, Justin Chauke Co-operative and Inotrade Investments being implicated in the looting of stands. Other companies being investigated by ZACC are Geoscan, Tensor Systems, Rodcroft Engineering and Concord.

There are also allegations of abuse of office in which former town clerk Charles Muchatukwa bought a low density house for only US$15 000, Moyo is accused of abusing a council vehicle 

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