The recent visit by a team of land commissioners dispatched by the ministry of Local Government to look into how the City of Masvingo has been handling land allocations has unearthed serious irregularities, TellZim News can report.
The city’s deputy housing director Simbarashe Mandishona is one of those under the spotlight, having allegedly allocated himself an extra residential stand in Eastvale in a dubious manner.
The stand in question, which Mandishona had allegedly convinced council to condemn before taking it over at no cost, sits adjacent to his other regular stand in the same suburb.
This created for Mandishona a double stand twice as big as any other average residential stand in the suburb, an anomaly that raised the suspicions of the investigators who then started to question.
The extra stand which Mandishona is said to have irregularly allocated to himself was repossessed by the council in 2012 after the previous owner is said to have failed to make any developments to it.
When contacted for comment, Mandishona told TellZim News that he could not comment on the matter but said that his detractors were out to besmirch his ‘good’ name.
“This is a very sensitive matter and I am not allowed to comment. Yes, the land commission was here for 10 days and I think people should wait for the report.
“I do not want to put myself in trouble by commenting on an issue which I am not authorized to speak about. My enemies are out to tarnish my image,” said Mandishona.
Sources who spoke to TellZim News said that after council repossessed the stand, which is next to Mandishona’s, the deputy housing director wrote to his boss Levison Nzvura informing him that the repossessed stand could no longer be developed and he should be allowed to add it to his own so that he could have sufficient ground to park his cars.
Nzvura is said to have agreed to his junior’s request and signed all the requisite papers.
“The commissioners visited Mandishona’s house in Eastvale and were surprised by the extravagant size of the stand as well as the elegance of the house he built using the small salary he gets from council.
“The commissioners asked how Mandishona could have a double residential stand in one suburb when council rules do not permit it when it comes to council employees and councillors,” said the source.
Mandishona tried to justify himself when TellZim News pressed him further, but was quick to add that he did not want to pre-empt the work of the commission and that he would rather go down alone than entangle others.
City of Masvingo Housing Director Levison Nzvuura told TellZim News that the matter was complex and could not give a comment.
“This is a complex matter and as you know we have a communication procedure which prohibits us from making comments that affect the council,” said Nzvuura.
City of Masvingo Acting Town Clerk Edward Mukaratirwa told TellZim News that the commission did not give him any details of their findings.
“The land commission came and when I had an exit meeting with them, they did not tell me anything about their findings.
“They simply told me that they would produce a report which they would give to Minister July Moyo so we are waiting to hear from the minister. What you are asking is just hearsay for now,” said Mukaratirwa.