Discord in AAG over gold claims

HARARE - The national leadership of the Affirmative Action Group (AAG) has broken ranks with its Bulawayo chapter over the decision by city fathers in the second largest city to allocate gold claims to town clerk Christopher Dube, and George Mlilo — the permanent secretary in the ministry of Local Government.

The Bulawayo chapter of the pressure group has taken great exception to the decision by the city fathers and has written a stinging letter to President Robert Mugabe expressing its disquiet.

Dube, through his company Belmac Investments, was a fortnight ago awarded mining claims located at Aisleby Farm, owned by council.

Mlilo, on the other hand, now jointly won a claim at council’s Good Hope Farm along with one Mngane Ncube.

In a letter dated September 17, 2017 referenced “Corruption allegations: George Mlilo and Christopher Dube of Bulawayo City Council in allocation of gold claims” addressed to chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda, the pressure group had no kind words for the city fathers.

“As you are aware …… Mlilo who is the permanent secretary of ministry of Local Government has been allocated gold claims together with Christopher Dube the town clerk for Bulawayo City Council. This is abuse of public office and corruption between public officials, who instead of over-seeing the operations and conduct of each other, collude in self-enrichment schemes,” reads part of the letter signed by AAG Matabeleland Chapter president, Reginald Shoko.

The letter was copied to the Bulawayo city authorities.

But AAG president Chamu Chiwanza disagreed with the Bulawayo chapter yesterday, saying the pressure group does not engage in actions and decisions that disempower those for whom the affirmative action movement is meant to protect and assist.

“In pursuit of our mission and objectives, we strive by all means to be fair with everyone and such has remained our position since formation. A case that was raised against George Mlilo and Christopher Dube was placed on public domain without concrete evidence and the need to build up evidence to support claims of misconduct, corruption and abuse of office is at the core of our fundamental values,” said Chiwanza in a statement.

“AAG will continue to fight all cases of corruption but it is important that the basis on which this is done is professionally sound and legally secure. Until good and solid evidence is submitted to my office as the President of the organisation, I urge our Regional leadership to respect protocol and refer such issues through the office of the chief executive officer (Davison Gomo).”

Chiwanza said AAG abhors injustice, and will always fight corruption and all forms of exclusion.

“However, we also recognise that AAG should not be used to disempower other indigenous citizens — without basis. We are keen to see as many people as possible going into business and one of our major roles is to assist them to grow their businesses. When this happens, society is the winner. We defend what we have and ask for more,” he said.

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