Stands scandal claims Chitown housing director’s scalp

Chitungwiza Municipality has suspended acting director of housing, Alfred Dube, under unclear circumstances as the dormitory town launches investigations into yet another mega housing stands scandal which involves issuance of fake letters, NewsDay can reveal.

By Albert Masaka

Town clerk George Makunde, while admitting that Dube had been suspended, could not be drawn to reveal more on the reasons behind the suspension.

“It’s still premature to discuss Dube’s case, but he is suspended while we are looking into the issue. May you wait for the findings?” Makunde said.

A councillor, who refused to be named, confirmed Dube’s suspension, saying they were now waiting for the matter to be brought to a full council meeting.

“The housing department has not been performing well after the resignation of (Benjamin) Gwenzi (former director of housing), who sought greener pastures. There are allegations of fraud and corruption through fake offer letters and double allocation of housing stands,” he said.

The town was also rocked by another stands scandal in which an internal audit report revealed that councillors and council workers where conniving to create hundreds of stands, selling them and pocketing the proceeds, prejudicing the cash-strapped authority of thousands of dollars.

Mayor Phillip Mutoti’s three-year-old son was reportedly allocated a stand which was later sold.

Chitungwiza is undertaking a verification exercise of stands allocated this year up to October, according to an advert which appeared in the State media recently.

“Council is undertaking an exercise to verify the issue pertaining to the offer letters for the period January 1 to October, 2016. All applicants who were issued with offer letters for residential, commercial and industrial stands during the period in question are hereby called upon to report, with the necessary documents, including the offer letter/s, at the internal audit office, municipal head office, as soon as possible.” the advert read. Efforts to get a comment from Dube were fruitless at the time of going to print.

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