Civic leaders accuse Chombo of double standards

Residents and civic organisations have rubbished a four–member team appointed by the Minister of Local Government, Ignatius Chombo, to investigate the Bulawayo City Council over allegations of corruption.

Fuzayo Mbuso, Ibetshulikazulu Secretary: “Jobs for home boys.”
Fuzayo Mbuso, Ibetshulikazulu Secretary: “Jobs for home boys.”

Led by former local government secretary, Finnie Munyira, the team started its investigations last Tuesday. Chombo claims he sent in the team following complaints from residents.

Effie Ncube, the chairperson of the Matabeleland Constitutional Reform Agenda, dismissed the investigations as a ploy to victimise the predominantly MDC –T council.

“Chombo is playing political games in MDC councils. If there are really issues of corruption as he claims, the anti-corruption commission should move in rather than his handpicked home boys, who are receiving hefty allowances from the same local authorities they are investigating,” said Ncube.

She said Chombo, who has been accused of amassing massive wealth through corruption, had no moral ground to set up the probe team. “He himself is at the centre of corruption allegations. He should first explain to the nation how he acquired his massive properties,” said Ncube.

The secretary of local pressure group Ibhetshulikazulu, Fuzayo Mbuso, said Chombo’s investigators were not helping residents at all.

“There is no one from Bulawayo on the team. He is just creating jobs for his friends. Residents have not benefitted from similar commissions in MDC run cities like Chitungwiza and Harare. The minister is just on a fault-finding mission so as to discredit the MDC run councils,” said Mbuso.

There is no one from Bulawayo on the team

According to investigations carried out by this paper, only organisations and individuals with strong links to Zanu (PF), such as the governor for Bulawayo Metropolitan province Cain Mathema, Zanu (PF) and war veterans have so far met the team, which is staying at a four star hotel.

The Bulawayo City Council is paying of the team‘s accommodation, daily allowances and transport costs.

Bulawayo mayor, Thaba Moyo said the council had nothing to fear or hide because it conducted its business in a transparent manner.

Chombo has been on a war path with MDC-T led councils, suspending elected councillors on allegations of corruption. The MDC-T Deputy Minister of Local Government, Sesel Zvidzai, said his party believed all the suspensions of MDC mayors, chairpersons and councillors were politically motivated.

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