HCC officials, councillors named in land scam

HARARE City Council (HCC) officials and councillors were recently named in abuse allegations with respect to improper allocations of land belonging to the municipality, Zim Morning Post can report.

The director of Education, Housing and Community Services, Addmore Nhekairo is said to be working with a syndicate of council officials and councillors, in which Harare Mayor Hebert Gomba is said to be a major part of, to fleece the metropolitan of its land.

Residents for the Preservation of Harare City Assets (PHCA) last week alleged that Addmore Nhekairo, Gomba, Getrude Dumba, Edgar Dzehonye, Lovemore Makuwerere, Hammy Madzingira, Kudzai Kadzombe, and Happymore Gotora were illegally selling council land without following proper laid down procedures.

“This tag team is working with HCC Director of Housing, Nhekairo, to illicitly sell land. They are making a killing from the shenanigans,” read the social media post by HPCA. Dumba and Dzehonye are senior housing officers for the city and are operating from Remembrance Drive at the HCC offices in Mbare. The two are said to be inter-mediators of the housing director,” PHCA posted on their Facebook page.

“Nhekairo is untouchable in the City of Harare. He has enough money to enable him bribe investigators, including even those from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Central Intelligence Organisation, and court officials, including magistrates so that investigations on him are stifled,” PHCA continued.

“He has even managed to capture Minister July Moyo and Harare Provincial Minister, Chidau, by offering them housing and commercial stands so that he covers up for his corrupt activities.”

“Nhekairo sells stands like he is selling cornflakes. He usually carries piles of offer letters, ready for sale in United States dollars and signing by prospective buyers,” the statement said.

“Nhekairo has absolute and exclusive power to issue offer letters to whoever he desires, even before council approves the price, which all will be done in retrospect,” Zim Morning Post heard.

Nhekairo, however, told this publication that land barons were trying to sway public opinion against him.

“Land barons are swaying public opinion against myself and other top HCC officials because they are now being denied what they were used to getting,” he said.

The Director of Housing at the HCC is, however, said to be working in cahoots with other corrupt councillors, among them Lovemore Makuwerere, Hammy Madzingira, Kudzai Kadzombe, Mafume, Happymore Gotora and Gomba.

These councillors reportedly first identify all open spaces in the city, especially in low density suburbs, where the land is then allegedly subdivided into residential and business stands before being sold at extortionist ‘black market’ rates to already waiting clients.

Zim Morning Post heard that this is done well before HCC’s approval.

In a statement to Zim Morning Post on Sunday, Gomba denied the allegations, claiming them to be the product of land barons who were feeling the heat from him and his councillors following the decision to deny them land within the metropolitan.

“It’s a lie being peddled by land barons. The barons are under pressure from a council decision, which is explicitly clear that no baron should be allocated land,” Gomba claimed.

Last week, the HCC Director of Housing reportedly busted a well known land baron who had used some land ‘surveyors’ to create a fake stand out of municipal land in an uplands area.

The baron was then reportedly forced to return the money he had taken from a prospective but unsuspecting land buyer.

“It is for these activities that the directors are under attack and as Mayor, I will stand with them and for them as long as they are doing the correct thing,” he said.

“The hardest hit areas include Mt Pleasant, Avondale, Mabelreign and Marlborough; some of these stands have suffered double allocations, with money taken from different people for the same stands,” Gomba added.

Zim Morning Post also spoke to Harare councillor, Mafume, who said the information circulating on social media was a creation of land barons.

“This was drafted by land barons. There is no evidence at all to these allegations of the illicit land dealings,” Mafume said.