HARARE mayor Muchadeyi Masunda has attacked Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and his Information counterpart Webster Shamu for accusing him of double-dipping in a deal to build over 3 000 housing units in Budiriro, Harare.Report by Staff Reporter
Masunda also accused Housing minister Giles Mutsekwi of taking a backseat in the saga involving his ministry.
This follows Chombo’s claim that Masunda corruptly allocated CABS land to build the Budiriro housing units while John Sisk & Son was reportedly awarded a civil works contract for the multi-million dollar project.
Masunda chairs John Sisk & Son Africa Group, Lafarge Cement and Old Mutual, which owns CABS.
“I feel sorry for both ministers Ignatius Chombo and Webster Shamu for they are blissfully ignorant of what they are talking about with regard to the alleged ‘double-dipping’ on my part in respect of the CABS Housing Project in Budiriro,” Masunda said.
“The whole transaction was done above board and on an arm’s length basis following a magnanimous decision by Old Mutual to inject $85 million to resuscitate our country’s ailing economy. What I can say about their accusations is ‘forgive them they know not what they say and do’.
“I would like to throw the gauntlet at both Chombo and Shamu by asking them to demonstrate what they have done for the benefit of the more vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community during the umpteen years that they have held public office.” Masunda added he declared his interests when he became mayor in 2008.
“They must wake up from a deep slumber and obsession about the historical past and focus on what needs to be done today and tomorrow to enable our city and country to take their rightful places in this competitive world.”
Old Mutual availed $85 million — $40 million of which was seed money for the National Housing Fund to be administered through the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities, $20 million as a contribution towards the Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf), $15 million towards the CABS Housing Project which will yield 3 106 units in Budiriro, and $10 million towards the Kurera/Ukondla Project to empower young people under the auspices of the Zimbabwe Youth Council.
Chombo recently said: “Council must take back the 3 000 stands allocated to CABS and Old Mutual to benefit local people instead of benefiting two companies where (Muchadeyi) Masunda is the chairman. That is the kind of double-dipping which Zanu PF and the people do not accept.”
Shamu has also clashed with the local authority, accusing it of corruption.