HomeLocalBigwigs risk losing properties worth US$4m

Bigwigs risk losing properties worth US$4m

BY MOSES MATENGA

THE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) is investigating a plethora of cases involving executives at several urban local authorities, who are accused of corruptly acquiring properties worth as much as US$4 million.

Targeted people risk losing the properties if the investigations establish that they are proceeds of corruption, Zacc says.

Zacc spokesperson John Makamure told Standardpeople that the commission’s asset forfeiture and recovery unit was working on the cases.

“In terms of civil forfeiture of assets, Zacc asset forfeiture and recovery unit (AFRU) do have cases pertaining to local authorities,” Makamure said.

“Currently we are seized with nine active cases.

“Councils involved  include the City of Harare, City of Mutare, City of Gweru, Chiredzi Town Council and Victoria Falls Town Council, just but to mention a few.

“In some instances, council employees steal council stands without following procedure and pocket the proceeds.

“Some council employees connive with bogus housing co-operatives and illegally sell stands to people.”

Several Harare City Council officials have been arrested in recent months for alleged corruption.

They include town clerk Hosea Chisango, director of housing Admore Nhekairo, human resources director Cainos Chingombe and his predecessor Matthew Marara, among others.

Works director Zvenyika Chawatama is allegedly on the run.

“There is no actual value of properties involved as evaluations are to be finalised for some of the properties, but the estimated value of the properties is
US$4 million.

“It involves senior management and officers of the local authorities,” Makamure said.

“The properties are in both the low and high-density suburbs.

“Some were commercial stands and wetlands that have been illegally converted to residential stands. some are residential areas that are turned to commercial stands.”

“The properties are acquired through proceeds of crime as the council officials are given kick-backs after fraudulently disposing council land using estate agents and cooperatives.”

Several senior government officials have also in the past been arrested for corruption and they risk losing their properties if arrested.

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