THE probe team set up by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo last month to investigate illegal dealings at Harare Town House, including car sales stands and billboards, completed its task last week.
Report By Moses Matenga, Staff Reporter
Initial reports indicate heads might roll once again, as more councillors and officials are reportedly implicated in the dishonest deals. Chombo last month appointed the team to investigate mushrooming of illegal car sales, illegal billboards and the awarding of tenders by the city council.
Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda confirmed that the Ellen Chivaviro-chaired probe team had completed its investigations.
“Their probe focused on illegal billboards, illegal car sales and next week they will report their findings including their recommendations to the minister,” Masunda said. Chombo also confirmed the team had finished its mandate and would be reporting to him anytime this week.
“The report is complete and we will be getting it this coming week, so we will tell you when we have it,” Chombo said yesterday.
Last month Chombo said he would fire councillors if they were found on the wrong side of the law for their involvement in clandestine deals including giving out tenders to undeserving individuals, or involvement in billboard scams. Masunda confirmed there were underhand deals, especially in the billboard issue.
“We told them (the team) that we have to redouble our efforts in that direction. Out of 150
billboards in the city, half of those were unauthorised. We have to regularise the position. Those not meeting our satisfaction will be pulled down,” Masunda said.
“On car sales, they thought our system was not watertight because we have not been able to distinguish which ones were legal or not. There is need for us to monitor our district offices closely . . . We have a problem with the proliferation of illegal operations like car sales and vendors at busy intersections,” Masunda said.
Masunda added that there were people who sold building materials, flowers and other items at road intersections. Although some of them had licences, others were unlicensed. “The vendors produce letters from district officers. They could be collusion between the district officers and functionaries, and various departments and some councillors.”