HARARE City Council (HCC) on Tuesday suspended 14 of its top officials implicated in the sale of 152 stands in Kuwadzana.
HCC spokesperson said the municipality was now working to recover the stands which were irregularly parceled out.
“The council is working to recover the 152 stands as investigations continue,” Michael Chideme, the HCC spokesperson, said.
The accused were apprehended by CID Commercial Crimes Unit and last week appeared before the courts answering to charges of fraud and criminal abuse of office.
The alleged syndicate is comprised of human capital director Matthew Marara, Tapiwa Gona (head of public lighting),Tonderai Mukora (surveyor), Believer Mupandawana, Tineyi Kureva, Magret Sarudzai George, Mazano Zvakanyorwa, Wellington Tauya, Austin Tapiwanashe, Rudo Pauline Chigocha, Timothy Majena, Bernard Mkuna and Kizito Chikowore.
It is alleged that the accused acted in common purpose and unlawfully identified open spaces in Kuwadzana surburb, created fictitious pay schemes and sundry accounts without following due process.
They would in turn sell the stands to homeseekers under misrepresentation that the stands were officially approved by HCC.
At least 150 stands were sold, prejudicing HCC of US$1 141 779, 50.
The alleged crime was committed between 2017 to 2019 and HCC in fact connected water at the stands in question under the belief that it was approved council land basing on fraudulently laid out plans and fictitious pay schemes created by the accused.