KWEKWE — Kwekwe Municipality audit committee chairperson Aaron Gwalazimba has said the local authority will soon investigate allegations of fraud and corruption in the Housing and Community Services department, following a stands scam which resulted in the arrest of Councillor Johannes Ngozo.
Ngozo appeared before Kwekwe provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe on Monday, facing three counts of fraud, in a land deal which council suspects could also involve senior managers in the department.
“We suspect there are people in management who could be part of this scam because the councillor could not have been able to sell the stands without help from council employees who process the paperwork. My committee will be looking into these possibilities and will open an internal investigation soon after meeting the mayor (Shadreck Tobaiwa),” said Gwalazimba.
Kwekwe has been rocked by allegations of corruption which have since claimed the scalp of treasurer Albert Zingwe who was fired on December 23 last year, but is still battling for reinstatement.
But, housing director Newton Dete said his office never aided the alleged fraudulent acquisition of land by Ngozo, who chairs the housing committee, adding any internal or external investigations were welcome.
“We have always been open on how we deal with selling of stands and would want to assure residents that our department was not part of the fraud allegations levelled against the councillor,” said Dete.
Ngozo, remanded in custody to November 11, was yesterday reduced to tears as he was taken back to prison. He pleaded with the court to allow him to go home. He is expected back in court today for a bail application by defence lawyer Innocent Hore.
Mayor Tobaiwa is on record saying he would not hesitate to wield the axe on Ngozo if allegations of fraud and corruption against him were proved to be true.