1 800 square metre stand sold for US$116

Chegutu Municipality housing director Ms Shylet Dzivai allegedly sold a residential stand measuring 1 800 square metres for $10 000 early this month which was equal to US$116, way below the initial value of US$7 000 quoted in 2007, leading to calls for the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) to investigate in the town.

The sale was raised when Ms Dzivai and town clerk Mr Jacob Chikuruwo appeared before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee’s sub-committee on Local Authorities to respond to issues raised in the 2019 Auditor General’s report. The stand was allocated to Mr Takuranei Musoko in 2007 valued at $200 million (equivalent to US$7 000 then) but was repossessed in 2017.

Ms Dzivai allegedly unilaterally re-allocated the stand to Mr Musoko without following procedures and he paid $10 000 early this month. When they appeared before the sub-committee chaired by Chegutu West legislator, Dexter Nduna, Mr Chikuruwo said he had not approved the transaction while Ms Dzivai said she could not recall issues related to the deal and was granted permission to bring the file on the stand next week.

Nduna said there was a possibility of corruption on the part of the director of housing and requested the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to investigate the matter. ZACC commissioner Mrs Thandiwe Mlobane, who also attended the meeting, said they would send a team to probe the matter.

The anti-corruption team was also asked to investigate the appointment of Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa in 2019 as acting town clerk. He was appointed substantively to the post in July this year. Eng Mukaratirwa was deputy director engineering services for the city when he was appointed acting town clerk in September 2019. However, the sub-committee said that appointment contravened the Urban Councils Act, which says in the absence of a substantive town clerk, the chamber secretary should act in that capacity.

At the time of his appointment, Mr Vitalis Shonhiwa was the acting chamber secretary and the sub-committee said he should have been appointed instead. However, Eng Mukaratirwa disputed the sub-committee’s assertion saying the provision in the Act was for persons holding the chamber secretary’s post substantively.

This prompted Nduna to request ZACC to look into the matter saying the irregular appointment could have been to facilitate corruption in light of irregularities cited in the Auditor General’s report.

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