HomeNewsChombo probe team leaves Chegutu empty-handed

Chombo probe team leaves Chegutu empty-handed


A FIVE-MEMBER taskforce recently dispatched by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to investigate a raft of alleged underhand dealings involving senior managers and councillors at Chegutu Municipality has come out empty-handed after failing to get any incriminating evidence over allegations of financial imprudence, among other charges.


Chegutu mayor Leo Gwanzura yesterday told NewsDay the investigators, who claimed $15 000 sitting allowances, had completed their report, but had not yet presented it to the local authority.

The team was led by deputy director of urban councils in Chombo’s ministry, Morgan Hungwe.

Gwanzura said allegations of financial impropriety had been raised by Chegutu West MP Dexter Nduna to “fix some councillors and managers who refused to tow his line.”

“The minister only gave directives to be implemented, but of the issues raised no mention of financial looting was raised by the probe team. One of the team’s terms of reference was to investigate reports of mismanagement of council funds. This shows there was nothing amiss in our books of accounts as alleged by some detractors,” Gwanzura said.

Chombo last year directed the immediate cancellation of title deeds, agreements of sale and offer letters with respect to certain disputed stands in Hartley residential area which were given to council senior managers as part of their conditions of service. The other stands were disposed of to private individuals.

This decree will affect at least 12 property owners, some of whom had started construction on their stands.

Gwanzura said the directive was likely to set council and the affected individuals on a collision course, with others reportedly contemplating suing the local authority.

“No scientific explanation was given for the reversal of the title deeds for council senior managers as these were given as part of their conditions of service at the height of a mass exodus in 2007. Besides our managers, individuals who had bought land are likely to sue us and the legal battles would cost us,” Gwanzura said.

Chombo also ordered the issuance of title deeds for all home-ownerships and the regularisation of the layout plan for Riffle Range Extension.

The cash-strapped municipality, which owes in excess of $5 million to various service providers, was also told to honour its payment plans with all creditors.

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