By NQOBANI NDLOVU
BULAWAYO residents have hailed the move by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) to investigate reports of alleged land scams involving city fathers, saying this would help bring sanity at the local authority.
Residents are up in arms with councillors, mayor Solomon Mguni and town clerk Christopher Dube, after reports emerged that the latter had been awarded a commercial stand as part of his perks.
Council recently offered Dube a commercial stand in Selbourne Park.
According to council minutes, the stand is adjacent to another piece of land offered to him by the local authority as part of conditions of service.
This comes weeks after Mguni attracted controversy following revelations that council had allocated him a 2,5 hectare plot situated at Lower Rangemore for urban farming purposes for a paltry $165 per month for 25 years.
Zacc questioned council officials over the reports among other acts of mass graft involving other city fathers as residents called for a thorough probe to ensure the guilty are charged and removed from office.
“There have been these allegations for quite some time now and so it is important that Zacc steps in and clears the air. If there is no one who is found to be corrupt, so be it. Let the city be managed accordingly,” Effie Ncube, the co-ordinator of the National Consumer Rights Association, said.
“However, if there is anyone who is found to have corruptly abused the office, then let them be punished and removed from office. That is important for service delivery. That is important for investment in the city and also for public confidence in public affairs.”
Two years after the declaration of assets policy was adopted, only two out of 29 Bulawayo councillors — Rodney Jele of Nkulumane and recalled Arnold Batirai of Nketa — have come out to publicly declare their assets amid reports of resistance among city fathers to willingly do so.
Zacc has already set heads rolling in Harare after it clamped down on corrupt city fathers, including former mayor Herbert Gomba and several top managers.
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