Council, land developer smoke peace pipe

The stand-off between a private land developer and Makoni Rural District Council over the illegal parcelling out of residential and commercial stands at Inyazura Farm would soon be a thing of the past as the two parties are ironing out their differences.

The stand-off between a private land developer and Makoni Rural District Council over the illegal parcelling out of residential and commercial stands at Inyazura Farm would soon be a thing of the past as the two parties are ironing out their differences.

Makoni Rural District Council has over the years allegedly been selling residential stands in a controversial way on a 778-hectare farm, owned by Ruletta Private Limited.

Despite several High Court orders to stop the parcelling out of land, the local authority remained defiant and allegedly sold more than 2 000 residential stands in a move that benefited a few individuals within the local authority and government.

Top Zanu PF officials also allegedly benefited from the opaque land deals that resulted in the suspension of some top council officials.

Local Government personnel in the physical planning department in Manicaland province were also allocated residential stands.

Former Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has been protesting the suspension of two top Makoni Rural District Council officials for frustrating a government land audit in the district.

The suspended Makoni RDC chairperson David Guy Mutasa and chief executive officer Edward Pise are Chinamasa’s known allies.

Pise, who had saved the local municipality for more than 30 years, was recently fired, Standard  People established.

“Makoni Rural District Council chairperson Edward Pise has been fired and the council also took his Fortuner vehicle and service pistol gun,” said a source.

The disciplinary tribunal, which comprised Messrs G Giya (chairperson) S Machingauta and Mrs Nyamwanza ruled that he committed a serious act of misconduct that goes to the root of his contract of employment.

A judgement gleaned by  Standard  People on Friday reads:  “The tribunal is satisfied that the employee (Pise) contravened section 4 (a) of statutory instrument 15 of 2006 by failing to adhere to his duties as provided for in his contract of employment, particularly paragraph 7. 16, 25 and 33 of his job description

“Therefore, the employee is found guilty.

“The employee committed a serious misconduct, which goes to the root of the contract of employment and as such he is hereby discharged from employment with immediate effect,” the judgment reads.

Acting Makoni RDC chairperson councillor Ellah Hlanguyo said she was not in a position to comment over the matter.

Meanwhile, Ruletta Private Limited has approached Makoni Rural District Council as the two parties seek to resolve the land issue amicably.

“We have since approached the council advocating for the regularisation of the residential stands that were sold illegally,” said Ruletta Private Limited managing director John Shumba.

“We hope to smoke a peace pipe with the council and the acting CEO has welcomed us in a move that will resolve this impasse amicably.

“As Ruletta, we hope to work with the council and relevant ministries in developing the remaining part of Inyazura Farm as we move to address the housing issue in the country.”

Shumba, however, said it was unfortunate that there were some individuals who were politicising the issue.

“We are working well with the new team at Makoni RDC and progress is showing in just these few weeks we have been working together,” he said.

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