Chitungwiza caretaker council mooted

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A caretaker council could soon be in charge of Chitungwiza if the Movement for Democratic Change has its way.

The move comes in the wake of the MDC expelling all its 24 Chitungwiza councillors last week.

The MDC said on Friday that it would seek cabinet permission to replace expelled Chitungwiza councillors with a caretaker council appointed by the party or to have by-elections called to fill the void.

Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo has, however, rejected the idea mooted by the MDC.

Chairman of the MDC committee, which exposed the rot in Chitungwiza, Tapiwa Mashakada said: “We will also ask cabinet to quickly rein in Chombo to deal with him as a matter of urgency.”

“Our investigations have unearthed that he is behind the massive looting of land and the rampant corruption that has brought the city of Chitungwiza to its knees.”

Mashakada chronicled how councillors from Zanu PF and MDC had systematically “milked Chitungwiza dry” through corrupt practices facilitated by dishonest council officials.

Mashakada accused Zanu PF councillors of initiating the corruption, which he said was later adopted by the new MDC council.

“When it came to the question of land, the corruption had gone footloose and out of hand among councillors, both Zanu PF and now our own,” said Mashakada.

“One individual, former Deputy Mayor Frederick Mabamba, who was a Zanu PF councillor, now owns about 25 percent of land in Chitungwiza.”

“Our investigations have established that Minister (Ignatius) Chombo connived with convicted former Mayor Marange and the Town Clerk to rip council of at least 20 out of 26 commercial stands at the Chitungwiza Town Centre. Chombo even had plans to build a hotel there,” Mashakada revealed.

“Individual officials had looted such assets as cars, trucks, tractors, front-end loaders, refuse trucks and even bulldozers,” said Mashakada.

All the expelled councillors had defied orders from MDC headquarters Harvest House to elect outsider Vincent Gwaradzimba as mayor.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said: “We meant to bring in a fresh set of eyes; a clean pair of hands to do a surgical on the inflicted council.”

“But the councillors defied the party order and rejected the surgical treatment,” said Chamisa.

“Now the party had to do a Cesarean to save the baby which is the people of Chitungwiza.

“As I speak now, the people of Chitungwiza are having parties, celebrating this successful Cesarean.”