Bombshell Harare land scandal report out

Cops refused to arrest Chombo, Chiyangwa
muchadeyi_masunda_threeHARARE - The Mayor of Harare, Muchadeyi Masunda (Pictured) was last night expected to release a report into the city's infamous land scam, which has implicated several high-profile individuals, including cabinet minist

Masunda told The Zimbabwean that the report would be made public after it was debated by councillors at a special council meeting. The issue has escalated to the highest level, Masunda said. Publication of the report was slowed after the first investigation committee chairman, Councillor Warship Dumba, was harassed by Chombo and later removed by a partisan investigation committee set up by the minister, who was named in an earlier probe as one of the major beneficiaries of the land scam.
The matter was referred to the police, who refused to arrest the named suspects – Chiyangwa and Chombo. Mugabe’s nephew Chiyangwa, who was suspected of having obtained vast tracts of municipal land under questionable circumstances, has built a vast empire which could now be broken up with councillors insisting that the council should repossess its land.
Last year, the Harare City Council reported the matter to the police and recommended the arrest of Chombo and Chiyangwa. Instead, the partisan, Zanu (PF)-aligned police arrested several councillors on what were described as trumped-up charges to intimidate them and scuttle the probe. Chiyangwa sued the council and The Standard newspaper, which published details based on the HCC report to the police, for $900 million. The matter is still pending in the High Court, but the municipality has said it can provide evidence of graft against the named individuals and companies.
As if to pre-empt the impending HCC report, Chombo last week gave a lengthy interview to the party-run Herald newspaper dismissing charges that he was corrupt. He said it was only the police, accused of being spineless and the Anti-Corruption Commission, said to be toothless, which could bring corruption charges against him.
Creative and highly imaginative elements have accused me of owning a multitude of houses and stands in every city and town in Zimbabwe. This is a figment of their fertile imaginations aimed at tarnishing my image, Chombo said. High-level sources in the police told The Zimbabwean that they had been ordered not to investigate Chombo even after the HCC provided the evidence because he was related to Mugabe.
Details of Chombo’s ownership of numerous properties were also splashed in newspapers after his estranged wife, Marian, filed divorce papers claiming a share of what she claimed were some 100 properties owned by the minister countrywide. Chombo is said to have become one of the richest property owners in cabinet. He is also the Zanu (PF) secretary for lands, in charge of a decade-old campaign to grab white-owned farms around the country.
Meanwhile, councillors have demanded the return of municipal land allegedly seized by Herentals College in Budiriro. The councillors claimed Herentals, in which some influential people in government have a stake, had taken over a community centre without authorisation. Herentals was recently in the news for taking over a government school at Cold Comfort farm and hiring thugs to chase away staff and pupils.

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