Chombo wants MDC graft probe report

HARARE - Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo says he has written to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai demanding a copy of the MDC graft probe report.

The damning report, drafted by deputy secretary general Tapiwa Mashakada, reports widespread corruption in MDC-run councils.

Chombo, a man the MDC accuses of having an axe to grind with its councillors, told a news conference last Friday that while he has written to Tsvangirai requesting the report, there has been no response from Charter House.

The MDC councillors’ lifestyle audit resulted in the dismissal of 12 councillors countrywide from the party, while several others faced censure.

“I have written to the Prime Minister so that he can give me their probe report, I am still waiting for the PM’s office to furnish us with their report so that we can act from government side,” said Chombo
“The MDC has long promised us the report but up to this day they have not done so.”

Chombo’s request is strange given that in 2010 he flatly refused to give effect to the dismissal of Chitungwiza councillors fired from the MDC on allegations of corruption.

The 2010 Chitungwiza probe followed allegations of corruption in the dormitory town which resulted in the entire MDC council being dismissed from the party.

But Chombo, a person who as minister has power to remove councillors from office, refused to cooperate with the MDC claiming that the party had not furnished him with their report, an assertion the party said was a lie.

Since his Zanu PF party lost control of most local authorities countrywide a decade ago, Chombo has engaged the MDC in pitched battles, dismissing MDC councillors on charges of vice while refusing to fire those whom the party would have recommended for dismissal.

Chombo has so far dismissed more than a dozen councillors countrywide while several others are still on suspension.

The MDC, on the other hand, claims it has written to Chombo advising him of their decision to fire the 12 councillors in the latest case.

But Chombo claimed the MDC was lying.

“They have not done so, I am still waiting and they should be sincere to whatever they say,” said Chombo. - Xolisani Ncube

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