Chitungwiza town clerk blames graft for town's woes

HARARE - George Makunde, the Chitungwiza Town Clerk has issued a clarion call on government to vehemently condemn corruption and impose heavy penalties on those found on the wrong side of the law.

Makunde blamed institutionalised corruption, inefficiency, greed and poverty as the main reasons the town has been hogging the limelight for the wrong reasons notably on land allocation scandals involving councillors and management.

The town clerk refuted allegations by council employees that there was a secret account being used by management to pay themselves hefty salaries, saying the issue had been blown out of proportion after at first showing his reluctance to comment on an issue that was before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee.

He also castigated the employees for what he termed “the corporate governance frenzy being assumed to be superseding law these days in Zimbabwe”.

Recently, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa recently announced a drastic slash of salaries for chief executive officers running State entities and local authority top administrators from the hefty amounts running into tens, in some cases, hundreds of thousands, to a blanket $6 000.

“Contractual obligations need to be observed as enshrined in the laws of this country than moralising issues at the expense of managers,” Makunde said.

The town clerk also dismissed allegations that the local authority was concentrating on trying to demolish illegal houses while dragging its feet on those behind the illegal allocation of stands saying council had done its part and handed the requisite reports, on what is widely viewed as the biggest urban land allocation scandal in independent Zimbabwe, to the police.

But no arrests have been made so far and council has been informed that investigations are at an advanced stage to bring the culprits to book.

“Investigations and arrests of those involved in land scams is a function of the State security arm which the Municipality of Chitungwiza has no authority over.

“As council we have done all that is in our power and made the requisite reports on the matter to the police and it is the police who should now act on those reports.

“No arrests have been made so far but we are told investigations are under way and at an advanced stage to bring some of the barons to book,” he said.

Makunde also added that Councillor Fredrick Mabamba’s hearing on his suspension was concluded on Monday and the munipality is now awaiting the verdict. Mabamba was suspended by Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo following a government land audit report which alleged that he was the biggest culprit in illegally allocating land in Chitungwiza, an allegation he denies.

However, the Chitungwiza residents have to wait longer for a lasting solution to the town’s water woes as council is still courting investors to construct Muda Dam and a treatment plant specifically for the town.

The town has no water body of its own to supply residents with potable water and relies on Harare.

 

Comments (1)

We the residents of Mhurushomana area have requested for your assistance in opening roads, sewer and water. You replied that the council has no money. We then came up again with an option for the residence to pay for the services while the council provides manpower and machinery, you are still sitting on that letter of request since November 2014. What is best that we do to get these essential services as we already are paying for them.

Ronald Muvandi - 8 April 2015

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