Kwekwe councillors have accused town clerk Emmanuel Musara of being a Zanu PF sympathiser who was running the local authority like a tuckshop, denying councillors access to information.
The allegations were made at a heated full council meeting in the Midlands town on Tuesday.
At the centre of the storm were contracts like the lease agreement between the council and a Zanu PF activist Owen Ncube on a council property, Kwekwe Brickfields, which the politician is allegedly renting for a song.
“We asked for the lease agreement which gave control of Kwekwe Brickfields to a private individual but we were told that it had been lost and no action was taken against the person who lost that lease. I want to know why management is keeping information away from us. This is not a tuckshop but a council that belongs to the people,” councillor Aaron Gwalazimba fumed.
Councillors said they believed Musara, a former mayoral aspirant on a Zanu PF ticket, was playing games in order to further his own interests and pull down the MDC- T dominated council. Brickfields was leased to Ncube, a Zanu PF Provincial executive member, by the former mayor Stanford Bonyongwa-led council in 2006.
Ncube, however, says his lease runs for 10 years and had nothing to do with him being Zanu PF. It was a purely business transaction, he said.
“All transactions between either the party or myself and council are strictly business, it has nothing to do with politics,” said Ncube.
Zanu PF also leases its party headquarters from Kwekwe City council among other council properties and is alleged to be paying close to nothing in rentals.
Mayor Shadreck Tobaiwa confirmed that a number of council properties were either being rented cheaply by Zanu PF officials or people aligned to the party and that council had directed a thorough audit be carried out to flush out abuse of council property.
“There has been serious abuse of council property especially during the time of the previous Zanu PF-led council and we are busy looking at all properties to flush out partisan benefit from public infrastructure and property. We however are facing challenges in that information is not forthcoming from our officials,” said Tobaiwa.