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‘Investigate Chombo land deals’

By Daniel Nemukuyu

Former Cabinet Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo reportedly received 125 stands from Delatfin Properties for resolving a dispute with other Zvimba developers, further stands from a second developer and had money paid into his personal account by cooperative members in the area.

New Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo
Former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo

The Commission of Inquiry into the Sale of Urban State Land, chaired by Justice Tendai Uchena, recommended — in its report recently handed to President Mnangagwa — that both sets of stands and cooperative payments should be investigated further.

The commission visited 37 farms designated for urban development in Mashonaland West Province and found a raft of dealings that raise concern and, in the commission’s view, justify further investigation.

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The commission recommended investigations into the actions of 105 people in the province, including politicians and senior Government officials, on allegations of possible corruption, criminal abuse of office, bribery, the sale of State land without authority from the Ministry of Local Government and selling land without fully servicing it.

Politicians from Mashonaland West recommended for further investigation include Dr Chombo, Mr Saviour Kasukuwere, Mr Jimayi Muduvuri, Mr Bright Matonga, Mr Francis Mukwangwariwa and Dr Philip Chiyangwa.

Ministry of Local Government and Public Works directors who should be investigated include Mr Christopher Shumba, Retired Colonel Joseph Mhakayakora, Mr Andrew Rhory Shawatu, Mr Casper Ngoshi and Mrs Sekai Matimba.

Officers from the then Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement who should face investigation include Mashonaland West provincial lands officer Mr Marlvern Mhaka and the district lands officer for Sanyati, Mr Mapfumo.

According to the report, Dr Chombo allegedly received 125 commonage stands from Delatfin Private Limited in return for the support he rendered to the firm in a land dispute with other developers in Zvimba.

The stands, according to the report, were given to Dr Chombo through the now late permanent secretary Mr Killian Mpingo and another ministry official, Mr Rhory Shawatu.

Dr Chombo, according to the report, allegedly demanded from the same property developer, additional stands at a meeting held at Number 7 Bath Road, Milton Park where he was represented by his brother, Mr Nimrod Chiminya, according to the report.

Dr Chombo is said to have received more stands from Leengate, another property developer working in Zvimba.

The commission also looked at cooperative contributions paid by home-seekers in Zvimba.

“Some cooperative contributions were deposited into the personal Agribank account held in the name of former minister Dr Ignatius Chombo, which funds were never remitted for development purposes,” reads the report.

Mr Kasukuwere should be investigated after he “unjustifiably” withdrew land from Beyond Reality and awarded it to UDCORP at Knockmallock Estate A in the province, without an agreement of sale or payment of the purchase price.

Mr Shumba stands accused of subdividing the Governor’s residence in Chinhoyi when he was provincial administrator for Mashonaland West.

He is accused of sharing the stands created from the subdivision with two other ministry officials identified as Matimba and Watambwa.

Mr Shawatu should be investigated after receiving a number of stands from Delatfin at Haydon Farm in Zvimba, according to the report.

Mr Ngoshi is said to have allegedly prepared layout plans for property developers called Shine Plus and Leengate, who had land in Zvimba, using his personal company while still employed by the Government and allegedly received payment through his wife’s bank account.

Rtd Col Mhakayakora reportedly asked for stands from Delatfin’s Haydon Farm project after he had facilitated the allocation of 120 hectares of State land to the company.

Delatfin director Mr Felix Munyaradzi should, according to the report, be investigated for allegedly illegally selling State land and for selling stands to people without servicing them.

Zvimba South legislator Cde Chiyangwa should, according to the report, be investigated for abuse of office after reportedly convening and chairing a council meeting to solicit a favourable resolution to enable his company Gabroc Investments (Pvt) Ltd to sell State land.

He allegedly sold Lot 1 of Lot 3 of Brundish Farm to the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) when he did not have title to the land.

Zanu PF central committee member Cde Muduvuri faces investigation on allegations of selling State land before fully developing it in Kadoma through his company, Macsherp Pvt Ltd.

The commission recommended the investigation of former Zvimba East legislator Mr Francis Mukwangwariwa for allegedly selling State land without the authority of the relevant ministry and selling stands before servicing them at Penrose Farm.

Incumbent and former local authority leaders in Mashonaland West were also not spared by the audit.

Zvimba Rural District Council former chief executive officers Mr Peter Hlohla and Mr Shacky Siyamayambo are also implicated for selling State land without authority from the Ministry of Local Government, with some stands being sold before development.

Chegutu Town Clerk Mr Alex Mandigo, Sanyati Rural District Council chief executive officer Mr Akim Shadaya, Karoi Tow Secretary Mr Wellington Mutikani, Kadoma Town Clerk Marlvin Dondo, ex-Chinhoyi Town Clerk Mr Godwin Khosa, Makonde Rural District Council former chief executive officer Mr Lahliwe Murefu are also on the list of those recommended for further investigations over irregular land allocations and sales. The Herald