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Councillors accuse Kaukonde of corruption

Councillors accuse Kaukonde of corruption

via Councillors accuse Kaukonde of corruption | The Zimbabwean 9 July 2014 by Nelson sibanda

Zanu (PF) Member of Parliament for Marondera Central, Ray Kaukonde, has allegedly imposed a land developer on the local authority, raising the ire of councillors.

Ray Kaukonde: subverting the tender process is corruption.

Kaukonde reportedly instructed Zanu (PF) councillors at a meeting at the party provincial offices recently that a developer identified as Jerry Brook should develop over 13,000 residential stands at Hunyani Timber Lands. The MP said Brook “has money to bail the local authority out of its financial woes”.

This was despite reports that three other developers, Shelter Zimbabwe, DATCO and ZIMAT, had won the tender to carry out the project during the Government of National Unity (GNU) era of 2009-2013.

Zanu (PF) councillors who attended the meeting were not happy with the instruction, and said Kaukonde seemed to have personal interests in the deal. Brook did not attend.

“We were forced to buy Kaukonde’s suggestions out of fear and as Zanu (PF) policy makers at the council, we unanimously supported the inclusion of Brook into the project,” said one councillor on condition of anonymity.

He said if need be, Zanu (PF) would use its majority at the local authority to revisit multi-million dollar tenders issued by the previous MDC-T council. Marondera Central has nine Zanu (PF) ward councillors against MDC-T’s three.

Following the meeting, sources at the local authority said Brook visited Marondera Town House and held meetings with Josiah Musuwo, the Town Clerk, and other stakeholders. Musuwo confirmed meeting Brook but denied it had anything to do with the Hunyani project.

“We met with Brook since council wanted to find out his model of land development and how it could benefit from future relations with his company,” said Musuwo. The mayor, Anthony Makwindi, could neither confirm nor deny the Brook issue, since he was not allowed to make comments over the telephone.

Contacted for comment, Kaukonde said as he did not work at the local authority, the media should seek comment from Musuwo and Makwindi. He accused The Zimbabwean and other independent media houses of concentrating on negative aspects of Marondera at the expense of ‘real news’.

He said: “I feel pity for black Zimbabwean journalists who write negative stories to destroy their own country. When Marondera’s equipment was attached by workers for non-payment of salaries the media kept quiet. The successful supply of clean water to the town from Wenimbe Dam also remains unreported by the media.” Awarding a developer work to do without going to tender, Kaukonde noted, was corruption.

Brook could not be reached for comment but inside sources revealed that he was yet to evaluate the council offer.

An official at Shelter Zimbabwe declined to comment. The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa reported that Zimbabwe’s post-independence era was characterised by political leadership that had consistently failed to provide the best examples for accountability, transparency and integrity.

“Since 1980 the leadership has engaged in acts of corruption and also condoned such behaviour on the part of their associates, relatives and friends,” reads part of the report.

Over the years Zimbabwe has been rocked by numerous scandals, such as the Diamond Scandal, Looting of War Victims Compensation Fund, the VIP Housing Scam, the ZISCO Scandal, the United Passenger Company Scandal, the Kondozi Estate Looting, the Willowvale Scandal, the Fertilizer Scandal, the National Oil Company Scandal and the Harare Airport Scandal.

Zanu (PF) admitted early this year that its economic blueprint Zim-Asset can only bear fruit if corruption in its various forms is tackled – but has taken no practical steps to do so.

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