By Staff Reporter.
CHITUNGWIZA – Members of the Special Anti Corruption Unit (SACU) housed in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) have been fingered in corrupt activities involving illegal land allocations in Chitungwiza.
Sources disclosed that SACU had been engaged to investigate land allocations on wetlands in Chitungwiza following which corrupt officials at Chitungwiza municipality offered residential stands to the SACU officers in an attempt to stop the investigations.
“Last year, the Chitungwiza municipality was fined $24 000 by the Environmental Management Agency for allocating stands on a wetland at the corner of Tilco and Chitungwiza roads. The council was ordered to issue an order to stop all construction activities but despite this, construction of houses is ongoing and new stands have also been issued on the wetland.
“Beneficiaries have fake offer letters which are not even known by council and we have realized that SACU officers were bribed with residential stands. The scam also involves officials from the Environmental Management Agency,” said the source on condition of anonymity.
Govt Officials Also Involved
The Provincial Development Coordinator for Harare, Tafadzwa Muguti has also been in the news after he allegedly corruptly acquired an industrial stand in the dormitory town of Chitungwiza.
The issue of illegal stands allocation in Chitungwiza was also reported to the CID Minerals, Flora and Fauna Unit and one of the officers who was investigating the case was Detective Chief Inspector, Paul Chimungu who was also named in the gold scam involving Zimbabwe Miners Federation President, Henrietta Rushwaya.
Chimungu has also been identified as being among the beneficiaries of illegal land allocations in Chitungwiza.
According to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), 189 out of 912 hectares of wetland area is remaining in Chitungwiza and this is largely attributed to land corruption.
Chitungwiza Municipality Spokesperson, Lovemore Meya referred questions to the Mayor, Lovemore Maiko who was not reachable.
Acting Town Clerk, Evangelista Machona said she was unaware of the bribery case but however confirmed that investigations were underway but she was yet to get results of the investigations by SACU.
“What I know is that investigations by the Special Anti Corruption Unit are ongoing and I have not yet received results of the investigations. We have issued stop orders for people to stop developing at the site and those that are continuing with developments are just being stubborn but let me say that whatever they are doing they are doing it at their own risk,” said Machona.
Chitungwiza Residents Trust (Chitrest) Director, Alice Kuvheya said the law should take its course in bringing officials involved in corrupt land allocations to book.
“We plead for the highest office to help investigate corruption in Chitungwiza. Chitungwiza has been turned into a rural area by these corrupt officials,” said Kuvheya.
SACU head Thabani Mpofu did not respond to calls at the time of going to print.