Chitungwiza mayor, Lovemore Maiko, has been arrested for alleged abuse of office after he reportedly demoted a district officer to council librarian and allegedly gave the position to his friend.

BY RICHARD MPONDE

Maiko was arrested on Monday afternoon and is also accused of directing council to stop demolishing illegal structures as well as convening a special council meeting without following procedure.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday confirmed the arrest of the mayor.

“We confirm that the mayor of Chitungwiza Lovemore Maiko was arrested for abuse of office,” Nyathi said.

“He allegedly demoted a district officer and assigned him to man the council library. He then took his close associate and gave him the position of the district officer. Cases of corruption are on the increase and police are not leaving any stone unturned in the fight against corruption.”

Maiko, who is an MDC Alliance councillor, was arrested in 2019 together with ward 2 councillor Kudakwashe John and works director David Duma on allegations of abuse of office involving the sale of commercial stands.

The trio was being charged with criminal abuse of office involving the sale of commercial land at Chigovanyika shopping centre.

They later allegedly sold 1 500 square metres of land to the wife of the mayor using a forged council resolution.

Maiko and other councillors were allegedly bribed by a suspected MDC top official and sold commercial stands at Chigovanyika on land reserved for a service station without the knowledge of the town clerk, George Makunde.

The recommendation to sell the land at Chigovanyika had been shot down by councillors during a full council meeting due to many grey areas, but the trio allegedly proceeded with the sale.

In April 2017, government suspended former Chitungwiza mayor Phillip Mutoti and 24 other councillors for allegedly corruptly allocating themselves land worth over $7 million. They were later cleared of the charges. Former Harare mayor Herbert Gomba and several top executives were recently arrested over similar charges.

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