Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
TWENTY-SIX councillors and officials from Harare and Chitungwiza have been arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) working with other law enforcement agencies in the fight against corruption.
The councillors and executives that have been arrested in Harare and Chitungwiza have their cases at different stages in the courts of law.
Harare accounts for 18 of the arrests while Chitungwiza has eight.
Zacc spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure said their fight against corruption in local authorities would be applied in equal measure, both in urban and rural authorities, until residents get value for their rates.
“We have taken the fight against corruption to local authorities.
“The law will be applied with the same weight notwithstanding that it is a rural or urban authority because the effect of the vice is the same on residents.
“Zacc will not expend its energy on the urban local authority ahead of the rural authority or vice versa,” he said.
According to records at Zacc, some high profile figures arrested in Harare include ex-mayors, Herbert Gomba and Jacob Mafume; town clerks – Hosiah Chisango and Isaiah Chawatama.
Others include Addmore Nhekairo and Mathew Marara, both of whom were at some point directors of housing, Priscilla Charumbira, who was at one point the city planner and later director of works, and Samuel Nyabeza, who was a city planner.
In Chitungwiza, mayor Lovemore Maiko and Ward 23 Councillor, Question Dingo, were arrested in November last year charged with criminal abuse of office.
The two are alleged to have connived and allowed an additional supplementary agenda in a general purpose meeting, which caused the appointment of Tendai Chinganga to a non-existent post of revamping council libraries and halls.
The case was deferred to April 21 for trial while there is an outstanding statement from the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government Housing and Public Works, which needs to be recorded.
There is also a case of housing and community services director Hazel Sithole, who is facing 16 counts of criminal abuse of office where she is alleged to have issued 16 residential stands without a council resolution to do so.
At least three witnesses are set to testify in the case that was deferred to May 7 for trial commencement.
At least two councillors — Stanley Warikandwa and Tonderai Chiwanza — together with housing director Alex Mukweva, were arrested by Zacc for allegedly conniving and allocating stand number 21027 Zengeza 5 to Blessing Sasha Moyo without following the Chitungwiza Housing policy plan and against a Ministerial order.
Mushata and Mukweva have another pending case for unlawfully sub-dividing stand 19307 reserved for a crèche into eight residential stands without an approved layout plan and did not follow Chitungwiza Municipality housing plan.