TWO leaders of a housing co-operative in Harare have been accused of extorting money from members of the body, claiming they were linked to top Zanu PF chefs and Office of the President.
BY CLAYTON MASEKESA
The housing co-operative’s chairman Vigilance Muduwa, and Malvern Motsi, the technical adviser of Bigmeans Housing Co-operative in Glen View 1, are being accused by the housing co-operative members of massive fraud, corruption and wilful abuse of funds.
The members said they would appeal to Local Government, Public Works and National Housing minister Saviour Kasukuwere to intervene.
The members allege that thousands of dollars were lost, as Muduwa and Motsi collected money from them, but did not remit it to the land developer.
A members’ representative in the housing scheme, who requested anonymity, said they were appealing for the ministry’s intervention to curb what they termed “massive abuse of office and power, corruption, fraud, misappropriation of public funds, violation of human rights and violation of corporate governance principles” at the housing scheme.
“We are now requesting for Kasukuwere’s intervention into Bigmeans Housing Co-operative. We have issues against Muduwa and Motsi on how they are handling the project,” the member said.
The members complained that nothing tangible had been done to develop the stands since February 2015, despite beneficiaries forking out thousands of dollars.
In a recorded audio clip, in the possession of NewsDay, two people, believed to be Muduwa and Motsi, are heard saying in order to access a certificate from the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operative Development, they worked in cahoots with a named official from that ministry to misrepresent papers and backdated the application to 2012, as only co-operatives that are two years or older were being given the papers.
They allegedly paid a bribe of $1 300 to the ministry official and received their certificate in March this year.
In order to apply for open land in Dzivarasekwa, they were advised to send an application letter together with a bank statement.
In the audio, a person believed to be Motsi said the housing scheme’s ZB Bank account only had $350 and they forged the statement to read $39 200.
Muduwa and Motsi reportedly then ordered members of the co-operative to pay $250 each, which was purportedly for processing the land allocation application.
Members of the co-operative say they were not given receipts for the payments even after 53 members had paid.
The members were then asked to pay another $250 each and again, the payments were not receipted, with the money allegedly meant to bribe an official from the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry to speed up the process.
“We want you to pay $250 each as money to raise $5 000 to bribe (the ministry official), so he offers us the allocation letter,” someone said to be Motsi says in the recorded clip.
“We are linked to all the influential people, so don’t hesitate to pay the money. We should not be afraid and pained by paying that money.
“By each of you paying the $250, we are guaranteed of the allocation letter.”
However, the members said despite all the money they had paid, nothing had materialised.
“The two have been saying that they are connected to top Zanu PF officials and some senior officials from the Office of the President and forced us to pay the money, but we now realise we have been duped,” another member of the housing co-operative said.
“We have been asking them to explain where all the money we paid went to, but they (Muduwa and Motsi) have become evasive.”
Contacted for comment, Muduwa said: “I have no comment to that. We don’t conduct our business insecurely (sic). This is a State-registered public society.”