Corrupt Byo Councillors Continue Land Grab

Corrupt Byo Councillors Continue Land Grab
Published: 2016 June 12 09:34:01 (1081 Views)


BULAWAYO councillors have reportedly continued with their alleged land and property grab in the city, with some allocating themselves unsubstantiated lease agreements despite the Government warning them against the move.

Some of the councillors face the prospects of being suspended as results of an inquiry on corruption allegations levelled against them, inclusive of the awarding of the leases and stands under unclear circumstances, is under Government scrutiny.

According to council documents, Ward 2 councillor, Sithabile Mataka is the latest to have been awarded an alleged unscrupulous lease by fellow councillors. Clr Mataka got herself a two-hectare plot for the purposes of urban agriculture in Trenance, despite the area having been reserved for the purposes of residential stands according to the local authority’s Master Plan. According to the local authority’s valuation department, Clr Mataka will pay a paltry $45 monthly rental for the piece of land.

“The piece of land was suitable for the proposed use and it should be noted that livestock could not be kept at the property. The Chamber Secretary (Valuation) had recommended a monthly rental of $45. The lease shall be for a period of five years and is subject to review at the pleasure of council and no permanent structures shall be erected on the leased piece of land save for ablution facilities and a guard room,” reads part of a council report.

Cowdray Park councillor Collet Ndhlovu also saw the local authority endorse and complete the paperwork for him to establish a sports bar at the Cowdray Park commercial centre. Clr Ndhlovu was awarded the sports bar as; “no adverse comments had been received”.

“The Acting Town Clerk reported that an application for a development permit to establish a sports bar on Stand 4370 Cowdray Park Township had been received from Councillor Collet Ndhlovu. The application had been advertised and adjacent property owners notified. It had also been circulated to municipal departments and no adverse comments had been received. At the time of writing of the report the premises were vacant.

“It was therefore resolved that a development permit to establish a sports bar be granted to Councillor Collet Ndhlovu subject to full compliance with the requirements of the Director of Engineering Services, Director of Health Services and Director of Housing and Community Services and any other municipal by-law requirements,” reads part of a council report.

However, in a dramatic turn of events another councillor Clr Sheila Musonda surrendered one of her leases claiming that she had no capacity to operate it. The Ward 8 councillor wrote to the local authority requesting that her lease for public toilets at Barbourfields Shopping Centre be terminated. Clr Musonda had been leasing the toilets since December 2014.

“Council, on 3 December 2014 had resolved to lease out Barbourfields Shopping Centre public toilet to Councillor Sheila Musonda for the purposes of providing sanitary and ablution facilities to the public for a fee. However, an application to surrender the public toilets had been received from Councillor Sheila Musonda of House Number K43 Mzilikazi Township. The reasons stated for surrender were; there was no business in the area and that she did not sign the lease agreement,” reads part of the report.

The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing last month despatched an investigation team to the second largest city whose mandate was to investigate a number of corruption allegations levelled against councillors and senior council officials.




- Sunday news
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