Shock as 103 stands meant for flood victims sold to army, CIO and police
By Garikai Mafirakureva | Masvingo Mirror |
Chiredzi Town Council has sold 103 stands allocated to victims of the 2019 flash floods to members of ZRP, the Army and Central Intelligence leaving poor families homeless, The Mirror has been informed.
More than 608 families abandoned their houses in 2019 because of flash floods and the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, July Moyo after realising that some were settled in wetlands approved and allocated 167 residential stands for their relocation.
However, Chiredzi Town Council defied the directive and allocated 64 stands to the vulnerable families and either parcelled for free or sold the remaining 103 to members of the Police, the Army and the Central Intelligence Organisation.
Sources said corrupt council officials parcelled free stands to senior securocrats to cover up cases of corruption swept under the carpet at the local authority.
Residents are calling upon the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the matter.
Moyo approved the 167 residential stands late last year.
Information from the District Development Coordinator (DDC), Lovemore Chisema indicates that 608 people were seriously affected after heavy rains pounded the town and caused flash floods.
Chisema who is the chairperson of the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) said wards; 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 were the worst affected.
“Some 61 households were affected in ward 2, Ward 3, 34 households were affected ward 4, had 184, ward 5, had 108 ward 6, had 66, ward 7 had 35 and ward 8 and 120,” said Chisema.
Acting Town Secretary Wesley Kauma confirmed that only 64 victims benefitted from the approved stands. He said that he sold the remaining stands because Government did not provide funds for servicing of the stands.
“I heard about the stands, but I have to see the housing director so that she can apprise me of the situation on the ground.
“Yes, the minister approved 167 stands and 64 victims benefitted. We sold the remainder to raise money for servicing the area. I don’t know if the stands were given to other people because everything is done by the housing director,” he said.
United Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (UCHIRRA) programmes and communications officer, Constance Chikumbo said the sale of the stands against the Minister’s directive must be regarded as a criminal case and investigations must be carried out.
“This is the latest scam at the local authority. In 2014 council collected $0,5 million United States dollars from home seekers and these are yet to get their stands.
“How could council collect money from residents when they knew they no longer have land to allocate prospective home-owners?” asked Chikumbo.
At one time, councillors allocated each other 40 stands and the culprits have never been arrested.