Chiredzi orders audit into ‘free’ plot hand-out

Chiredzi town council has ordered an audit to establish how scores of people were allocated stands in Tshovani high-density suburb without paying anything to the council. They claim the area lost $300,000 in potential revenue as a result.

It has also emerged that some former councilors – most of them from the MDC-T – along with several politicians benefited from the housing scam. The Zanu (PF) dominated Chiredzi town council said it wanted to establish whether all the beneficiaries of the housing project in Tshovani paid money for land to the local authority.

Town secretary Charles Muchatukwa said preliminary investigations indicated that around 100 people got stands in the suburb without paying a cent. Muchatukwa said that it was not a witch-hunt for former councillors and council officials, but an exercise meant to ensure transparency and accountability to residents.

According to council sources, each stand was supposed to be sold for $3,000, and beneficiaries were also to pay an extra $500 for confirmation of allocation.

Muchatukwa said those found to have benefited from the housing scam could lose their properties.

“The whole issue is now being politicised,” said one former councilor. “Perhaps, though, the truth is that current council is not happy that the people who benefited have an affiliation with the MDC-T.

“All the stand allocations were done above board, and to say some people never paid anything is a complete lie,” he added.

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