CHITUNGWIZA mayor Misheck Shoko has accused Zanu PF man of plotting his ouster from council to cover up their corruption. A loan of over $2,5 billion for sewerage upgrading was abused, he sa
In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent this week, Shoko said the loan was made available by the Reserve Bank in March to upgrade the collapsing sewerage system in the St Mary’s and Zengeza.
The money was handed over to the then MP for Zengeza Christopher Chigumba but was not used for its intended purpose when he lost the March parliamentary election.
Shoko said when he asked what the sewerage loan was used for, Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo started accusing him of maladministration and failure to provide services.
“The situation in Chitungwiza has become complicated because Zanu PF people want to cover up their fraudulent activities by removing me from office,” Shoko said.
“Chigumba and other Zanu PF leaders abused the sewerage upgrading loan money availed by RBZ. To clear myself, I have taken the case to the police.
“Last week, council officials including the acting town clerk were called for questioning by the police and it is just a question of time before we see them getting arrested.”
Shoko said Chigumba was pushing for his ouster so that he could arm-twist council into connecting water and sewerage to his housing cooperative.
“I turned down Chigumba’s application to connect water and sewerage to his Zano Remba housing cooperative because the construction was not approved by the council from the outset,” Shoko said.
“Now he is under pressure from people to complete the project.”
Chigumba built more than 200 housing units in the Unit L area, popularly known as Zano Remba Housing Cooperative.
Some of the houses that were built under the same initiative by the MP were demolished in the urban slum clearance blitz launched by the government in May.
Shoko said the motive behind appointing a district administrator, Godfrey Tanyanyiwa, was to frustrate him into leaving council.
“I am still in charge of council affairs,” Shoko said. “The appointment of the DA has nothing to do with council daily operations. He was brought in to monitor our operations and facilitate where we have difficulties.”
Shoko said the Chitungwiza problems had nothing to do with administration but the national economic crisis and political interference from central government.
“Chitungwiza is one of the few local authorities with the capacity to deal with sewerage and refuse collection problems but the main stumbling block is the unavailability of fuel and spares to keep our fleet on the road.
“We have been paying for our fuel supplies but Zanu PF officials have been blocking the deliveries to us. It’s time to stop political mudslinging and work with the reality.”
Shoko dismissed claims by government that it has given $5 billion to Chitungwiza saying that this was part of the debt they were owed.
Chitungwiza has been experiencing water shortages for the past two months due to rationing by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, while refuse is piling up as a result of the current fuel crisis in the country.