On Tuesday the 17th of May 2016, the MDC Secretary for Local Government, Mr. Eddie Cross, met with the elected Council of the City of Chitungwiza to discuss media allegations of corruption and the abuse of the allocation system for housing stands identified in a recent internal audit ordered by the Council.
As a result of the meeting which lasted over two hours, it was established that:
- 1. No MDC elected Councilors had abused the Government guidelines related to the allocation of Stands to Councilors during their term of Office.
- 2. The residential Stand allocated to the Mayor and registered in the name of his son, had been allocated under the Government sanctioned policy and that the reason for the peculiarities in the registration of ownership had been due to a legal dispute between the Mayor and his wife which was in the Courts and concerned the distribution of family owned property.
- 3. The Secretary requested the Council to meet as soon as possible to consider the internal audit report on stand allocations that was currently before the Council Audit Committee and make decisions as to how the irregularities revealed in the report should be handled.
- 4. The meeting noted that the Council was in the process of drafting and adopting a formal Council Policy on Housing and that this would provide a remedy for many of the weaknesses revealed in the audit report.
It was noted that the Council, despite the critical shortages of funding, had been able to improve water supplies, bring new sewerage processing capacity into operation and improve the condition of all major feeder roads. The Secretary warned the Council that the present economic collapse was reaching critical levels and that the introduction of Bond Notes would exacerbate the crisis and make it even more difficult to fund local government.