Mutare City Council top official resigns, two suspended over land scam

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Mutare City Council

MUTARE – A Mutare City Council senior official has resigned, while two others have been suspended over a land allocation scam.

Chief Planning Officer Richard Simbi has tendered his resignation while the Housing and Community Services Deputy Director Rofina Nyamangodo and an administrator in the department Ester Kadzutu were suspended pending investigations.

Mutare City Council spokesperson Spren Mutiwi has confirmed the development.

“It is true that he (Simbi) has resigned from his post, but he did not tell his reasons from resigning,” said Mutiwi.

Confirming of the other two, Mutiwi said: “We have two of our officials in the housing department who are on forced leave pending investigation over alleged corrupt allocation of stands in areas such as Dangamvura, Beira Corridor and in some areas,”

“The pair are strictly required to strictly reside at their residential address and they are also strictly required not to set foot at an council premises and should not interfere with current investigations,” said Mutiwi.

However, Simbi insisted he had resigned to further his studies.

“Yes, l resigned because l want to focus on my studies. l am doing a masters in Urban Planning,” Simbi said.

Investigations by The Zim Morning Post has revealed that Simbi’s resignation and suspension of Nyamangodo and Kadzutu is directly linked to the former Mutare Town Clerk Obert Muzawazi who was arrested last week in Mutare over fraud charges.

Muzawazi is alleged to have fraudulently sold council stands.

He has since appeared in court and is on $1 000 bail.

There has been concern over high level of corruption at the MDC run Mutare City Council involving the city councillors and senior management officials.

The Ministry of Local Government’s Audit Report 2018 report unearthed a land scam of how some named councillors and top management officials looted residential and commercial stands.

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