Hosiah Chipanga clashes with Mutare council over land

MUTARE – Outspoken politician and veteran sungura musician Hosiah Chipanga is embroiled in a serious land wrangle with Mutare City Council after the local authority re-allocated his stand to another person, a case that might expose serious corrupt land deals.

In an interview on Tuesday, Chipanga said he was allocated a piece of land at Area 15 shopping centre in Dangamvura high density suburb by the then Town Clerk Obert Muzawazi in 2016.

The stand was meant for a corner shop.

“I was allocated the stand after the council recognized me as an ambassador of the city since I am a well-known artiste.

“ Council officials from the engineering department and the then ward councillor Sangani Mubatanhema went to the place where I was showed them the piece of land and some demarcation,” explained Chipanga.

“Of late I decided to go and check the piece of land in order to plan how l can start working on it, only to find that there is already a house built on my stand,” he said adding that efforts to have his case solved has been hitting a brick wall, as he was being referred from one office to another in vain.

Zim Morning Post established that Chipanga’s stand issue was discussed in council chambers in 2016, where the councillors resolved to allocate the stand to Chipanga as an appreciation to his ambassadorial role to the city.

“Everything is not clear. The explanations I am being given do not mean anything. It only shows how corrupt the council’s employees have become. There is rotten corruption taking place at council. Surely we cannot succeed as a country when we have such corrupt people running affairs of an organisation like council,” said Chipanga.

“I know that money exchanged hands on my case, how can someone just build a house on someone’s stand?” asked Chipanga.

Contacted for comment, Mutare Mayor Blessing Tandi said his office was open to discuss his matter.

“I wouldn’t know what happened before with the previous Town Clerk and councillors. .

“However, my office is open he  should come with the relevant papers and information regarding the issue and we can start from there,” he said.

The current town clerk Joshua Maligwa has put on record that the Mutare City Council has embarked on a land sales and finance audit that is aimed at exposing illegal land sales and cash handling that runs into millions of dollars.

Since taking charge of office since 2016, Maligwa has put it on record that there was
rampant corruption in the allocation of stands and handling of cash at the local authority.

“We have put all our properties on the geographical information system (GIS) for easy and efficient management of our property database and finance operations,” he said.

Maligwa who has been working hard in fighting corruption at the Civic centre that had reached alarming levels said heads are set to roll as the auditors are currently doing an audit of the council’s
financial books.

He said 90 percent of council employees were corrupt.

“About 90 percent of the 1 300 people at council are involved in shady deals. We are having external auditors who are working with our internal auditors. There are so many heads, which are going to be chopped. We will be taking action,” he said.