By Shingirai Vambe
MANICALAND: The Ministry of Local Government and Public works has started investigating the sale and allocation of stands by local authorities to Councillors, Council and Government officials.
In a letter dated September 22, 2020, the deputy director, Urban and local Authorities in the ministry of local government, Morgan Hungwe stated the terms of references to be used by investigators which include, to ascertain for each local authority if they are any procedural allocations, payments patterns, developments of plans, pricing and if Councillors and council officials did benefited from the sale at the expense of council.
“Following receipts of numerous complaints from various sources, it has become necessary, in terms of section 311 of the urban councils Act to appoint an investigation to look into various matters in relation to aspects in the management of land,” Hungwe said.
This comes at a time when several government officials and Councillors have been suspended and arrested for gross criminal abuse of office especially in the sale and allocation of stands countrywide.
Investigations have already started in some part of the country and among them are City of Mutare, Rusape Town Council, Marondera, Mvurwi, Chipinge Town Council to mention just but a few.
Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) commissioner, John Makamure has confirmed to Post On Sunday that they are assisting the ministry of local government and public works in these investigations.
“Yes we are looking into systems and compliance issues within local authorities with a view of strengthening them and plug any loop holes for corruption,” Makamure said.
The investigation is looking into the role that was played by Councillors in land allocation and if there are any procedural allocations in particular. The investigation is also looking into officials and their immediate families since January 2016 as well as obtaining payment plans for all stands allocated to Councillors and officials and compare with the actual payment made.
However the expenses for this exercise is being catered for by respective councils to bear the full costs of the team using Government Travel and Subsistence Rate and the fees set out in the relevant Ministry Circular together with the provision of fuel for two vehicles and the investigation is expected to have a duration of a maximum duration of ten days.