Zvimba land scam: Heads roll

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President Robert Mugabe

HEADS are rolling at President Robert Mugabe’s home district of Zvimba in Mashonaland West province following revelations that some councillors were conflicted after they worked with property developers to corruptly violate the local authority’s laid down procedures.

Bernard Mpofu

The explosive findings were revealed by an investigation commissioned by Rural Development minister Abednico Ncube, whose report is titled Investigation of Zvimba Rural District Council: Mashonaland West 2016.

The committee comprised Mike Mazai (chairperson), Abigail Mandizha, Morris Chigoma, Phibeon Nyamande and Kelvin Mayoyo.

Ncube has suspended Zvimba Rural District Council councillors for alleged misconduct. Government has already read the riot act to Zvimba Rural District Council chairperson Francis Chikambi. The suspended councillors are Nobert Mapepa and Jemeni Sifara.

“After judiciously going through the investigation report submitted to my office, I have noted that, you are failing to control the conduct of councillors when carrying out council business,” wrote Ncube in a letter dated May 8.

“Records before me show that, you have let councillor Jemeni Sifara usurp executive powers by being part of the technical committee without a council resolution. In addition to that, you did not disclose your business dealings with the developer to council and you continued to interfere decisions pertaining to the developer in question.”

Ncube suspended the councillors after they engaged in irregular activities with a property developer Delatfin Engineering, a property firm run by Felix Munyaradzi. Delatfin is in partnership with the local authority.

“Following the conduct of an investigation and subsequent submission of a report on the Sandton housing development, I hereby, in terms of Section 157(2)(2) of the Rural Government Laws Ammendment Act (2016) and Section 157(2)(2) of the Rural Councils Act (Chapter 29:13), suspend you with immediate effect from exercising your duties and roles as a councillor for Zvimba Rural District Council, pending disciplinary hearing,” Ncube wrote in another letter dated May 8.

“You continued to participate in discussions concerning the developer of Sandton Park despite having purchased stand number 2286 from the developer in a piece of land under dispute between Zvimba Rural District Council and Delatfin Pvt Ltd. In addition to that, you did not disclose your business dealings with the developer to council and you continued to influence decisions pertaining to the developer in question.”

Mapepa, according to another letter dated May 8, was suspended for not disclosing his interests in Delatfin operations.

“The team discovered that some councillors were nicodemously meeting developers without council mandate and making deals to support developers’ interests in council,” the report reads in part.

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