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Ex-Chiredzi Council boss arrested by ZACC

By Agencies

FORMER Chiredzi Town Council chairperson Francis Moyo was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) and appeared before a regional magistrate last Friday on a charge of criminal abuse of office.

His personal company allegedly benefitted from 50 commonage stands when he was still the local authority’s chairperson between 2014 and 2018.

Moyo, who was the Zanu PF candidate for Chiredzi Central in the 2023 general elections, was granted US$500 bail last Saturday. He will appear again before the same court on 8 March.

Allegations against Moyo are that Chiredzi Town Council submitted 50 commonage stands to the ministry of Local Government as commonage stands. In May 2013, Inotrade Investments, whose director is Trinity Mutsetse, applied to the ministry and was awarded the stands in Tshovani township.

The state further alleges that Moyo, using his position as the council chairperson of Chiredzi Town Council, hatched a plan and corruptly benefitted from the 50 commonage stands reserved for the ministry of Local Government and Public Works.

On 17 December 2014, Inotrade Investments and Justin Chauke Housing Cooperative, owned by Moyo, entered into a partnership to develop and construct 50 housing stands.

Investigations revealed that Inotrade Investments later handed over the housing scheme to Justin Chauke Housing Cooperative with the accused person being the chairperson of both Justin Chauke Housing Cooperative and Chiredzi Town Council during that time.

The ministry of Local Government, then led by Saviour Kasukuwere, launched an investigation into Chiredzi Town Council from March 2016 to April 2016.

The investigating team, which was known as the Nhamo Commission as it was led by Alfa Nhamo, established that no land intrinsic value was paid to the ministry of Local Government for the 50 residential stands, therefore prejudicing the ministry of US$60 000.

Coincidentally, Moyo was arrested a day after another team of investigators from Zacc pounced on Chiredzi Town Council, searching for documents related to a Toyota GD6 single-cab vehicle which was given to the former Chiredzi town chairperson Gibson Hwende without following proper procedures.

The vehicle was acquired in 2021.

It was sold to the former council head for only US$2 500.

Chiredzi Town Council chairperson Jameson Charumbira confirmed to The NewsHawks that investigators from Zacc were at his local authority, but said he was not aware of what they were looking for.

“It’s true. We saw a team from Zacc visiting our offices. I am sure they are looking for something, but at the moment l am not aware of their exact motive. You can talk to the town secretary,” said Charumbira.

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