Harare City Council to be placed under a commission

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Local Government Minister July Moyo
Local Government Minister July Moyo

HARARE – The continued cases of corruption within the Harare City Council (HCC) have forced the Minister of Local Governance July Moyo to instigate plans to dissolve the MDC led council and appoint a commission which will run the affairs of the city until the 2023 elections TSTNews has learnt.

By Taurai Bvumo

TSTNews has learnt that the idea of a commission came after the arrest of four top employees were arrested yesterday in connection to the US$1.1 Million dollar land scandal.

The four arrested include Harare City Council (HCC) town planner Samuel Nyabeza, city surveyor Moses Bhowa, city valuer and estate manager Emmanuel Mutambirwa and Warren Park district officer Tutsi Kanonjerea.

Mayor Herbert Gomba was also arrested on Monday on allegations of corruptly creating residential stands and selling them without following due procedures.

Close sources within the ministry told TSTNews said the corruption in the country’s capital has become disastrous and needed to be sanitised.

 “The minister was not happy that a Mayor for the country’s capital was arrested for corruption, this means that all the councillors are tainted and there is now need of a commission,” said a confidant within the ministry.

 “The rush to get books in order comes because once a commission is set up the next thing is a forensic audit which is going to nail more councillors and management who have been involved in the unscrupulous activities bedevilling the city,” said the source.

Moyo is said to be planning to dissolve the Harare City Council to pave way for the commission.

In revelation to the possibility of a commission Harare councillors and senior staff members are said to have started putting their books in order.

“Once a forensic audit in the operations of the city council is instituted heads will roll that is why there is panic within the councillors and top management,” he added.

He further said there have been a lot of anomalies within the city council some which were deliberately ignored and those people were now trying to cover it up before the commission.

“Once the commission starts running everything will be under a microscope and the management thinks they can cover it up as quickly as possible,” the confidant said.

Gomba was arrested on Tuesday on allegations of criminally abusing office in connection to creation of residential stands worth more than US$1 million and selling them without following due procedures.

Gomba was allegedly involved in the illegal creation and sale of stands, with irregularities in the approval of plans and production of fraudulent layout plans prejudicing the Harare city council of thousands of dollars.

His arrest came barely a week after 14 top executives from HCC were arrested for the same offence.

The scandal has since dragged in members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and some senior staff in the Judiciary service Commission.