A Chitungwiza Municipality worker and the council’s former town planner have appeared in court on allegations of criminal abuse of office.
Henry Kandawasvika (49) from Madokero suburb has been working for the municipality as a land survey technician since 2011. Kandawasvika and former town planner Rosemary Maridza appear in court on May 17.
They were accused of unprocedurally creating 30 commercial stands on land which was reserved for an open space on the municipality layout plan in 2019.
Kandawasvika and Maridza, allegedly did not adhere to Section 43 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act.
It provides that subdivision of State land or communal land for public, industrial, commercial, residential or similar purposes must be referred to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works for approval. Kandawasvika and Maridza are accused of making false representations on verification forms that the stands existed on the Chitungwiza Town Council’s layout plan for commercial use.
They submitted paperwork for the stands to Hazel Sithole, the suspended director of housing, who allocated the stands to handpicked individuals.
Kandawasvika and Maridza were in the dock yesterday facing criminal abuse of duty charges.
Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje did not ask them to plead and granted them $100 000 bail each.
In a statement, ZACC spokesperson Phyllis Chikundura said Kandawasvika worked with Maridza.
“Sometime in 2019, Rosemary Maridza the then Town Planner at Chitungwiza Municipality (who is still at large) unprocedurally created a site plan for (thirty) 30 commercial stands numbered from 60189 to 60218 in Unit G, Makoni Business Centre, Chitungwiza,” she said.
Chikundura said the land was reserved for an open space on the Chitungwiza Municipality layout plan and is State land requiring Ministerial authority for a change of reservation as provided for in the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act.
“She further did not adhere to Section 43 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act which provides that, subdivision of State land or Communal Land for Public, industrial, commercial, residential or similar purposes shall be referred to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, who shall not approve the proposed layout plan until in the case of State land, the local authority concerned has been consulted and come up with a resolution to that effect.”
Thereafter, Chikundura said, Kandawasvika and Maridza made false representations on verification forms that the stands existed on the Chitungwiza layout plan and that they were planned for commercial use, yet the area was reserved as an open space. By so doing, Kandawasvika failed to adhere to the Municipality land policy which stipulates that in giving an allocation memorandum to the housing department, they must give a true representation that the procedures were followed religiously, she explained.
Chikundura said the unprocedurally created stands were later on submitted to Hazel Sithole, the Chitungwiza director of housing who is already on remand.
“Subsequently the unprocedurally created stands were submitted to Hazel Sithole, who proceeded to allocate the stands to handpicked individuals disregarding the prescriptions of the Municipality’s housing policy and her job description, which enjoins the Housing Director to inter alia adhere to the following procedures when allocating commercial stands; competitive bidding process with minimum offers determined by Council, submission of adjudication outcome to Finance Committee for information and awarding following existing procurement procedures.” she said. — New Ziana/H-Metro