By Staff Reporter
FORMER Harare mayor Hebert Gomba has been remanded in custody following his arrest Friday by officials from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) on fresh allegations of corruption after he allegedly grabbed an upmarket sports club’s vacant land.
Gomba was initially arrested in July last year on allegations of criminal abuse of office connected to the illegal selling of Harare City Council residential stands.
On the latest charge, he is accused of illegally creating commercial stands inside Old Hararians Sports Club open space in Milton Park without authority and selling them.
He was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare Magistrate Stanford Mambanje Saturday and was remanded in custody to Monday for his bail hearing.
Allegations are that during the period extending from 2018 to 2020, Gomba who was the Harare mayor and Glen Norah councillor, connived with Wellington Mutambirwa, a City of Harare evaluation executive to cause the creation of commercial stands at the open space at the Old Hararians Sports Club.
The stands were for a proposed crèche, medical centre, recreational facilities, market place and fuel service station, which were meant to benefit senior council officials working in Gomba’s office.
It is alleged during the sub-division of the stands, Gomba pressured a council employee, Samuel Nyabeze, through the phone and verbal communication to expedite the process.
The state alleges Gomba expressed interest in acquiring the fuel service station stand claiming he feared losing that opportunity if a government-appointed commission was put in place to run the City of Harare before he could get the land.
It is further alleged Gomba’s actions caused the City of Harare to come up with a sub-division plan and Nyabeze signed it.
The state alleges the council then sold three commercial stands to one family for $5 million without changing the use of the land.
Gomba is accused of having acted unlawfully in all these transactions and was in breach of the Urban Council Act.