BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
GOVERNMENT has set up a commission of inquiry to investigate reports of alleged corruption and abuse of funds by MDC councillors in Marondera town.
The investigations come after residents prepared a dossier against the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC councillors who are accused of milking council through “useless trips and workshops” among other allegations.
Local Government deputy minister Marian Chombo yesterday confirmed the setting up of a probe team to look into the matter with the preliminary investigations beginning next Monday.
“I confirm government received a report from residents in Marondera. We have set up a commission of inquiry that is yet to be approved by relevant authorities. However, we have also asked one of the directors to come to Marondera for preliminary investigations before the commission takes over. The director will be in Marondera on Monday,” she said.
In a petition signed by more than 1 500 residents and addressed to Local Government ministry, the councillors are said to have at one point allegedly demanded money from council saying they wanted to travel to Zvimba for the late former President Robert Mugabe’s funeral, a move that was meant for monetary benefit.
“During the funeral of Robert Gabriel Mugabe, all councillors claimed three days, three nights allowances on the pretext that they were attending his funeral. They got mileage and full tanks for their cars from council. They did not attend the funeral,” read the petition.
The petition also accused the councillors of going on trips outside town disguised as “look and learn” journeys in a bid to fatten their pockets.
“All councillors are travelling out of town on adventures disguised as look and learn. The trips are taking place twice a month with each tour taking between four and five days. They trips are money-spinning games which run in the face of a government directive not to engage in such without the express authority by the minister. Thousands of dollars are gobbled as councillors claim T/S (travel and subsistence allowances) and mileage for their cars which is pegged at $5 per kilometre. To us this is a sure Ponzi scheme,” read the petition. The MDC has 11 councillors in Marondera Town while Zanu PF has one.
In the petition, the councillors are also being accused of acquiring residential stands within a year of taking oath of office.
The municipality has since given each councillor a residential stand saying it is their privilege.
Some of the councillors are accused of regularising a fraudulent land deal between council and a private company.
Chamisa on Tuesday threatened to recall incompetent and corrupt councillors.