Residents of Chitungwiza, about 30 kilometres from Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, have begun a process that will see their municipality`s land dealings being audited by the Auditor General.
This comes after concerns were raised over the way residential stands and industrial spaces were sold to individuals and some land barons by the municipality.
Speaking to ZTN news, Chitungwiza North Member of Parliament Godfrey Sithole alleged that the municipality was mired in corrupt land transactions.
He said he has begun engaging the Public Accounts Committee to get permission to scrutinise the local authority’s books.
“I am in the process of ensuring that the Auditor General in line with section 298 of the national constitution and also in line with Section 81 of thePublic Finance Management Act read together with section 11 of the Audit Office Act which states that, if at any time it appears to the comptroller and the auditor general desirable that any matter relating to public monies or state property should be drawn to the attention of the public accounts committee without undue delay, he or she shall prepare a special report in relation to such a matter,” Sithole said.
According to Sithole, residents should not worry about the costs involved.
“We expect the audit to be majoring on the issue of land use specifically on residential, commercial and industrial stands administration. It is also important to note that the cost of the audit will not be borne by the ratepayers since the requests for the audit will be done by myself via the Public Accounts Committee,” said Sithole.
Recently, Chitungwiza Residents Trust, raised a red flag over land deals in the dormitory town and promised to approach law enforcement agents.
The trust’s board chairperson, Mr Tinashe Kazuru, said, Town Clerk George Makunde and his administration had failed to deal with the situation.
“We stand shocked at the recent rampant and unplanned creation of stands in Chitungwiza. This is happening under the nose of the Town Clerk, Mr Makunde, who is mandated to make sure our urban planning is orderly and compliant with the country’s laws. Our elected city fathers are conspicuous by their silence on this very serious matter,” Kazuru said.
When contacted for comment, Chitungwiza spokesperson Lovemore Meya promised to get back to ZTN but is yet to do so. Recently, he was quoted in the media as saying the municipality had suspended the sale of open space land until further notice.