Land thieves to be summoned

Harare's infamous 'land thieves' may still face justice after the City Council came up with a new process to bring them to account and recover its land.

Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda
Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda

The suspects, who have so far wriggled out of efforts by the authorities to bring them to court, include property mogul Phillip Chiyangwa and local government minister Ignatius Chombo.

Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda told the council recently that a comprehensive report on the scandal had been compiled and was now with an ad hoc committee.

He said the council would now set up a tribunal to gather evidence from individuals and companies named in the report. The tribunal will then make recommendations on how the municipality will proceed to the stage of ensuring prosecution of suspects and recovering stolen land.

Masunda said the council had already approached several retired judges and public figures who had indicated willingness to be part of the tribunal.

Previously, the council had gathered evidence and presented it to the police for investigation. However, the police refused to investigate because some high-profile individuals had been fingered in the probe.

According to a preliminary report, Chiyangwa fleeced the council by swapping worthless industrial land with lucrative properties in prestigious neighbourhoods. Chombo is accused of directing alteration of municipal documents and using his influence to secure prime land.

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