Probe team vows to clamp down on councillors

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An investigation team appointed early this year by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to probe corruption-ridden Chitungwiza Municipality has threatened to clamp down on councillors implicated in shady land deals.

Fungai Mbetsa, leader of the five-member Chitungwiza resuscitation team, told NewsDay yesterday more than half of the local authority’s 24 councillors were likely to be investigated.

“Part of my team is making investigations and is looking at that (probing councillors). We gave the team 10 days to finish up investigations and will come up with recommendations,” Mbetsa said.

He said his team would then submit its findings and recommendations to Chombo before he takes appropriate action.

Recently, Chombo dangled a carrot at corrupt councillors to own up and get lesser penalties.

Sources said several councillors in the former MDC-T-dominated local authority had booked appointments with the team in a bid to evade the axe.

Chombo could not comment on the claims yesterday saying he was attending a Zanu PF rally addressed by Vice-President Joice Mujuru in Mutorashanga.

In 2010, the MDC-T carried out its own investigations following a public outcry and fired the entire council over corruption charges, but Chombo reversed the decision and reinstated them.

The MDC-T report read: “Our findings are that our own councillors are generally corrupt and are heavily involved in underhand land allocation deals, receiving of bribes and behaviour likely to put the name of the party into disrepute.”