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Housing co-op rubbishes Mutare audit

By Bernard Chiketo

Musha Mukadzi Housing Cooperative has dismissed suggestions that it might not have paid for the land on which it developed and sold 187 stands in Hobhouse high density suburb.

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Given Muchinguri, an official, told the Daily News that they had settled the full $176 000 early last year before the Forensic Investigation Audit into the local authority’s land management that flagged their transaction.

Muchinguri was furious at council’s failure to keep records leading to the ministry of Local Government and National Housing audit’s questioning of their project.

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“We are fully paid up and this is why we are getting more projects to develop. How would they be giving us if we were not paying anything as the newspaper report is suggesting?” Muchinguri said while showing the Daily News the receipt for the initial $53 000 payment and bank statements indicating the rest of the payment in bank transfers.

Musha Mukadzi might not have gone on to get receipts after the bank transfers.

The audit had suggested that the company “might not have paid for land to council” as there was “no proof of payment in the council records made by Musha Mukadzi Land Developer towards the land sale”.

Even the memorandum of agreement between council and the land developer “was not availed to audit for verification” leaving the auditors with unanswered questions over the nature of the land deal which was entered more than five years ago.

They noted that “there was no transparency in the allocation and sale” of the land.

The audit slammed council officials in land management as it “failed to uphold or cause the upholding of contracts resulting in subjecting the loss of revenue in violation of section 44 (b) (1) of the Public Finance Management Act Chapter 22:19.”

It accused council of allocating land to land developers whose financial capacity they would not have assessed.

“Council should assess the financial capacity of land developers before allocating them land for development.”

The audit also recommended that “council should follow-up the outstanding debt from Musha Mukadzi Land Developer.” DailyNews