Chitungwiza Community Development Network statement on dissolution of Council

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Chitungwiza Community Development Network (CCDN) applaud the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Honourable Saviour Kasukuwere in dissolving the whole Municipal Council on allegations of corruption and gross incompetence.

The municipal has become the breeding ground for corruption and incompetence in Chitungwiza and as CCDN we strongly condemn corruption and incompetence by all and in all its forms.

The action of the Minister was long overdue as Councillors have dismally failed to perform their mandate, joined the corruption band wagon in an effort to enrich themselves at the expense of improving service delivery, promoting citizen engagement and participation in governance, policy and decision making processes.

Whilst we applaud the Minister, we strongly believe that his actions has some political connotations as the majority of land barons in Chitungwiza are senior ruling party officials who are pocketing millions of dollars in the form of council revenue.

According to Chitungwiza Town Clerk, Mr George Makunde there are more than 20 000 houses that are not in council database, not paying anything to council but to individuals thereby prejudicing the Municipality of the much needed revenue for improving service delivery.

These 20 000 houses are paying rates to high ranking ZANU PF officials such former Town Clerk Dr Fredrick Mabamba among others.

In 2012, a commission was set up to establish circumstances leading to sprouting of unplanned settlements in Chitungwiza and Seke communal areas under Manyame Rural District Council.

The report named all individuals who benefitted from the illegal land deals and nothing was done in bringing them to justice and some even climbed the ZANU PF leadership ladder to become Political Commissars.

Almost all former Councillors for the period 2008 to 2013 are named in the report as the pioneers of corruption and no action was taken in punishing the offenders and delivering justice.

The chaotic urban resettlement in Chitungwiza that has led to house demolitions is a direct action of the ZANU PF government as it seeks to capture the urban electorate from opposition political parties.

In Chitungwiza it is known that the majority and senior land barons are ZANU PF senior officials who are not part of the council. ZANU PF youth have been seen on a number of occasions demonstrating for free residential stands at the municipal head office. The majority of them have officially received more than 10 stands each but have not built one as they sold all of them.

It is a known public secret that ZANU PF started the illegal land parceling (dzenhanho) in Chitungwiza. ZANU PF unsuccessfully tried to take the Anglican Church land between Chikwanha, Zengeza 1 and 2 better known as St Mary’s farm using all illegal means and that was documented in all major local media.

The chaos that rocked Nyatsime housing scheme was engineered by ZANU PF activists and MDC-T activists had to join in after realizing that ZANU PF activists are dishing out land with impunity and pocketing the revenue.

We applaud your actions Minister Kasukuwere but we have serious questions regarding the timing of the dissolution, caliber of individuals named in the commission to run municipal affairs in curbing corruption, improving service delivery, promoting accountability and transparency, citizen participation in governance, policy and decision making processes.

We also question what you are going to do in stopping illegal land sales and corruption as it is the brain child of the ruling ZANU PF party in an effort to capture the urban electorate. What action are you going to take against senior ZANU PF officials who have been named as the ring leaders of illegal land sales in Chitungwiza.

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