Minister dragged into council graft scandal

Kazembe Kazembe

Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe has been accused of influencing the return into office of two Mvurwi council officials suspended for alleged corruption.

Town secretary Sherry Nyakudya and housing and community services officer Letwin Watambwa were on suspension after they were charged with corruption.

The duo was arrested early last year on allegations of corruption before they were suspended. They returned to office recently despite a pending court case.

Council chairperson Alderman Mazhambe confirmed that the two returned to work on November 28 under unclear circumstances.

 “The two have returned to office although the law does not permit them to go back to office given that they have a pending court case,” Mazhambe said.

Residents claimed Kazembe’s front men were instrumental in the reinstatement of the two council officials.

“From the onset we were always told about the involvement of political giants in the case,” a resident who requested anonymity said.

“At first, the police failed to arrest them because of threats by some Kazembe allies who had warned the police that arresting Nyakudya and Watambwa was tantamount to dragging Zanu PF's name into the mud.

“The officials were later arrested, thanks to some other powerful politicians from Zanu PF who declared that even the president was against corruption.”

According to court records, the two council officers were accused of illegally selling 200 housing stands to their connections including Zanu PF supporters.

The case has driven a wedge in the Zanu PF district structures with the town council chairman having been threatened and labelled a sell-out by some of his party members. 

Contacted for comment, Kazembe said political foes in the ruling party wanted to tarnish his image.

“Find out exactly what transpired because I have no clue nor do I have any interests in that case,” Kazembe said.

“Go and tell whoever has paid you to tarnish my image to go to hell and he must not come back.

“Don’t you guys get tired of abusing my name?”

Kazembe is the Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson.

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