ZENGEZA West MP Simon Chidhakwa has castigated Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s recent move to suspend the entire Chitungwiza council over illegal land deals, without causing the arrest of Zanu PF land barons named by a Parliamentary probe team.
BY ALBERT MASAKA
The opposition MDC-T legislator claimed the move was a “smokescreen” to cover up for Zanu PF land barons implicated in a recent Parliamentary report and blamed for housing problems bedevilling the town.
Kasukuwere on Friday suspended all 25 councillors, including mayor Phillip Mutoti on allegations of corruptly allocating themselves State land, prejudicing the local authority of $7 million among other charges, following findings of an internal audit report.
The suspended councillors included 14 from the MDC-T and 11 from Zanu PF.
Chidhakwa said the land barons, who are from Zanu PF were at the core of land problems bedevilling the town, adding Kasukuwere was desperately trying to divert public attention from the findings of the parliamentary committee.
“If Kasukuwere really wants to tackle the issue of land in Chitungwiza, he should deal first with the land barons named in the Parliamentary committee report and bring them to book. The culprits are known Zanu PF officials,” he said.
“Several government reports and even the recent Parliamentary report on local governance has implicated some of the sitting Members of Parliament as the major culprits.”
The report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government led by Irene Zindi listed the land barons as Fredrick Mabamba of United We Stand Multi-Purpose Co-operative, Zanu PF’s Chitungwiza South MP Christopher Chigumba, Boniface Manyonganise of Yamurai Disabled Co-operative, a Mrs Manhango of Chitungwiza Ruvimbo Housing Co-operative, a Mr Makuchete and a Major T Marufu, and Mr and Mrs Chivhanga of Zanoremba Housing Co-operative.
Land barons have wreaked havoc in Chitungwiza since 2010, creating a parallel land authority, that had its own architects, town planners, building inspectors and housing officers who allegedly allocated people land on wetlands, illegally subdivided and allocated State land.
“Our prayer is that the land barons must be arrested and justice is done. Unless and until these people are sent to jail, the problem of illegal allocation of stands will never stop in Chitungwiza.
Chidhakwa also accused Kasukuwere of failing to resolve the Nyatsime Housing Scheme saga where thousands of homeseekers were sold no-existent residential stands 10 years ago.