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    Friday, 18 August 2017

    1 000 stands files disappear at Town Council


    ZVISHAVANE – Files for 1 000 residential stands contaniing important information have allegedly disappeared at Zvishavane Town Council amid allegations that council officials are manipulating data and corruptly issuing out stands in infills and other areas.
    Angry residents, through Zvishavane Residents and Ratepayers Association (ZRRA) have submitted a petition to Vice President Mnangagwa in which they called for an investigation against Council officials. The same petition has been delivered to Zvishavane Town Council secretary Tinoda Mutukwa.
    Housing Director Nlhanhla Ngwenya confirmed that there was chaos in the department but he said he found the situation like that when he joined the local authority in 2013. He said he had since then been trying to restore order.
    Powerful civil servants have allegedly received large stands in high density suburbs like Mandava and Makwasha and this was allegedly done to buy their silence .
    Some of the stands are about 1 000 m2, said the residents. Some powerful officers getting such big stands include the District Education Officer (840m2), District Elections Officer (840m2), Council management staff from housing department (1018m2) and another one (934m2).
    ZRRA Secretary General John Mugabe alleged that the files for stands have disappeared because council wants to do a new survey of the stands for houses built around 1917 and raise money by charging each household $200 in survey fees. He said the new survey will also be used to manipulate sizes of the infill stands.
    Mugabe alleged that as a result of the ensuing confusion some stands have been allocated to more than one person and some stand numbers have been taken away from home owners and given to infill stands.
    He added that there are about 10 cases of lost stand numbers whereby the same stand number has been allocated elsewhere while the original stand with a house build years back was left with no number.
    "Some of the missing papers and double allocation anomalies include commercial stand 1232 Mandava Light Industrial Site, residential stands 770; 666; 574, roundavale 55; 3715; 3753; 640 and there has been a lot of corruption in the way infill stands have been alocated to top people," he said.
    "These infill stands are illegal as they have been corruptly given out. Council is using stands to pay Government officials so that they look aside when corruption happens at the local authority. Senior officials are being given stands in high density suburbs that are the size of low density stands. A stand where five people can be settled is being given to one person," read the petition.
    Ngwenya rubbished the allegations saying that ever since he went into office he has been trying to restore sanity in the housing department where he found things haphazard. He said he had even created a safely locked office reserved for safekeeping of housing files.
    "I found the council in a mess and I have been working tirelessly to restore sanity. When I came there were missing documents and manipulation of various documents and I have been working hard to put everything in order. Those whot accuse me of corruption have a certain agenda and they are free to prove me wrong," said Ngwenya.
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