My hands are clean: Masunda

HARARE - Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda says he is ready for a probe team set up by Local Government minister to investigate his council, as he has nothing to hide.

Ignatius Chombo, the Local Government minister, last week set up a probe team that will investigate all council tenders for the past 24 months as allegations of corruption and failure to follow laid down council procedures emerge.

The probe team will among other things look into how Cabs, a company owned by Old Mutual which is chaired by Masunda, got the tender to construct 3 000 housing units in the high density suburb of Budiriro.

Headed by Ellen Chivaviro, the team also comprises Florence Ziyambi, Jabulani Nyoni, Shingai Ndoro, Charity Nyambira, Joramu Mumbwandarika, Enock Magaisa and Taurai Maja.

Other terms of reference for the team include probing how the local authority awarded space for car sales and space for bill boards.

“I welcome the probe as I have nothing to fear because I have never been in the business of keeping any skeletons in the cupboard,” Masunda said. “I certainly do not intent to start doing so now. By the way, the chairperson of Cabs is Leonard Tsumba. I am the chairperson of Old Mutual Life Assurance of Zimbabwe.”

Allegations being raised by Chombo against Masunda are that he did not declare his interest when the housing deal was discussed by council, a charge Masunda rejected.

Chombo also suspects that Masunda being the chairperson for Old Mutual could have influenced the deal.

The minister has in the past set up investigation teams to probe MDC-run councils and this has resulted in some councillors being fired.

MDC has in the past claimed that such teams are created by Chombo to milk and discredit the MDC-run councils.

Since his party lost control of local authorities a decade ago, Chombo has had a frosty relation with the MDC. - Wendy Muperi and Xolisani Ncube

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