THE Local Government minister July Moyo is said to be planning the dissolution of the MDC-led council and appoint a commission which will run the affairs of the city until the 2023 elections.
The decision to do away with Mayor Herbert Gomba and his councillors comes hard-on-the-heels of the mayor and 14 of senior staff members by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) on allegations of corruptly creating residential stands and selling them without following due procedures.
This was revealed by close sources within the Local Government ministry who said the corruption within the country’s capital had become endemic and needed to be uprooted.
“The minister was not happy that a Mayor for the country’s capital was arrested for corruption. This means all the councillors are tainted and there is now need of a commission,” said a confidant within the ministry.
“The rush to get books in order comes because once a commission is set up, the next thing is a forensic audit which is going to nail more councillors and management who have been involved in the unscrupulous activities bedevilling the city,” said the source.
Moyo is said to be planning to dissolve the MDC-led council to pave way for the commission.
Following revelation of a commission taking over the affairs of the city, Harare councillors and senior staffers have reportedly started putting their books in order.
“Once a forensic audit of the operations of the city council is instituted, heads will roll. That is why there is panic among the councillors and top management,” he added.
The inside source further said there had been a lot of anomalies within the city council, some which were deliberately ignored and those people were now trying to cover them up before the commission allegedlly takes over.
“Once the commission starts running, everything will be under a microscope and the management thinks they can cover it up as quickly as possible,” the confidant said.
Gomba was arrested on Tuesday on allegations of criminally abusing office after he is said to have clandestinely created residential stands worth more than US$1 million and selling them without following due procedures.
Gomba was reportedly involved in the illegal creation and sale of the stands, with irregularities in the approval of plans and production of fraudulent layout plans prejudicing the Harare City Council (HCC) of thousands of dollars.
His arrest came barely a week after 14 top executives from HCC were arrested for the same offence.
The scandal has since dragged in members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and some senior staff in the Judiciary service Commission.