Zimbabwe top cop, prosecutor arrested for land Harare scandal


HARARE – An assistant commissioner in the Zimbabwean police force and a chief public prosecutor have been arrested in connection with a land deal scandal in Kuwadzana, state media reported on Thursday.

Assistant commissioner Obeylaw Moyo, the deputy director of the criminal investigation department’s commercial crimes unit, and chief public prosecutor Clement Chimbare were arrested on bribery allegations involving the $1-million Kuwadzana stands scandal, daily newspaper The Herald reported.

They were arrested on Wednesday and are expected to appear in court soon.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) reported that the Harare City Council last week suspended human resources director and former housing director Matthew Marara and 13 other employees to allow investigations into corruption allegations that could have cost council of US$1.1 million in shoddy land deals in Kuwadzana.

The group allegedly sold 152 stands illegally in Kuwadzana in a deal marred with irregularities in the approval of plans and production of layout plans, costing the council US$1,141,779 in the process.

They allegedly identified open spaces in Kuwadzana. There was no application for change of land use. The group then created fictitious payment schemes and fraudulent layout plans.

The plans were presented as though they had been approved by the council and were used to facilitate water connections and the creation of accounts in the municipal finance system.

Online news publication Zim Morning Post reported in June that an officer in the Department of Housing and Community Services at the Harare City Council had exposed massive corruption in the allocation of housing stands two weeks before she committed suicide.

A housing officer responsible for allocating housing stands on behalf of the Harare City Council, she revealed how municipal land was being packed away by corrupt top council officials for personal gain.

In her suicide note she also implicated 14 top employees in the Harare City Council’s housing department.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher