THE suicide two weeks ago of a Harare City Council (HCC) employee has exposed massive corruption in the allocation of housing stands by top officials, with the backing of the city councilors, Zim Morning Post has learnt.
In a suicide note prior to her death, Margaret Muganga, an officer in the HCC’s Department of Housing and Community Services – revealed how municipality land was being “parcelled” away by corrupt top council officials for personal aggrandisement.
Muganga, who was a housing officer, was responsible with allocating housing stands on behalf of HCC.
There are allegations that Muganga connived with HCC’s town clerk, Hosiah Chisango and other top officials in the housing department, to corruptly sell stands to desperate homeseekers.
The suicide note also implicates the manager in the housing department, Edgar Dzehonye, identified in the suicide note as DZ.
Dzehonye, together with one Chirisa, Mafiya and Dube are indicated as the masterminds of the operation, as they were the ones said to have received the biggest chunk of the loot in every transaction facilitated by Muganga.
In the suicide note, the town clerk was also exposed for his trying to cover his tracks in the corruption scandal by sending other people to collect his loot.
“From that list, Mr DZ (Dzehonye) took US$10 000 via Mai Dumba to the TC (Town Clerk hosiah Chisango),“ Muganga wrote in her suicide note.
In the suicde note Muganga also states that “DZ took US$6000 towards Christmas and I also gave him another US$3000 during lockdown.“
The suicide note also implicated 14 top employees in the HCC Housing Department.
The residential stands were reportedly sold in Westlea – a middle-income suburb in Harare, with one being sold in Mabvuku.
The number of stands sold in Westlea was 24 and a total value of US$62 000.
Muganga is said to have committed suicide in order to avoid possible reparations that she thought could accrue from an internal audit on housing stands currently taking place in Harare.
The stands corruption scandal may also likely claim the scalps of many MDC Alliance councilors who are accused as ones who would identity open spaces.
“That note is a tip-of-the-iceberg. Councilors from the HCC are allocating housing stands on wetlands, parks and industrial lands, and this is what has destroyed the sanity of Harare,” said another council employee at Rememberence Drive Housing and Community Service offices.
Sources also told the Zim Morning Post that councillors are parcelling out all open spaces without applying the change of use regulations.
“Several pen spaces around the city and residential surbubs have been sold out without due diligence. Some play parks have now been converted into residential stands,” said the source.
Two Harare high density suburbs, Kuwadzana and Kuwadzana Extension, appear to have suffered the most from this scandal.
A huge wetland between Kuwadzana 7, 5 and Kuwadzana Extension was reportedly also corruptly allocated to two housing cooperatives.
It is also said many open spaces in the two suburbs are being filled-up corruptly, with party affiliated businesspersons said to be benefitting the most. – Zim Morning Post