By Staff Reporter
THE Chipinge Town Council has allegedly parcelled out the Chipinge Country Club to Zanu PF senator, Dorothy Mabika with no public documents are available to support the transaction.
The development was revealed in a recent report; ‘Situational Report on Public Resources Management’ which was compiled by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD).
Mabika was last February appointed senator to replace the late Manicaland Provincial Minister Ellen Gwaradzimba.
Gwaradzimba succumbed to Covid-19 early this year.
However, according to the ZIMCODD report, the Chipinge Town Council has parcelled out its reactional facility to Mabika.
“Chipinge Residents Trust (CRT) complained that Chipinge Country Club is being privatised yet there is no single document to support that it’s no longer a council property,” the reported noted.
Country clubs were popular with white farmers for years, but most of them ceased to be operational soon after the turn of the century following the removal of most growers to make way for new black landowners.
“The rentals are being collected by Mrs. Dorothy Chitima. After CRT asked for a file they heard the record room caught fire a few days later.”
It was not clear in the report who Chitima was.
However, the ZIMCODD report added the residents, through their chairperson, Vhurande Mahlupeko, wanted operations at the country club to be halted until council officials make its ownership clear.
“The residents wanted the country club to stop functioning till ownership is disclosed.”
The residents, according to the report, were also unhappy that solar panels at the country club were removed under unclear circumstances by the then Chipinge town secretary, Susan Dube who replaced them with sub-standard ones.
“Mahlupeko also showed discomfort about the missing solar panels. He mentioned that the solar panels were said to have been taken by the town secretary (Susan Dube) and she replaced them with sub-standard solar panels,” reads part of the report.
CRT said the missing solar panels were reportedly donated, but the council board is saying they bought them from government devolution funds.
The residents are also unhappy over the appointment of James Mutemeri, the town treasurer as the acting town secretary after Dube was sent on forced leave following her arrest on corruption charges.
“CRT alleged Mutemeri is the chief architect and the brains behind the fraud and corruption activities happening in the council.
“His appointment without a forensic audit that has been challenged by the residents as there is some evidence that they want to destroy (the town council),” said ZIMCODD.
Residents complained Mutemeri now has two critical roles within the town council, and it was a conflict of interest.
“These roles do not appear to have any checks or balances and proper accountability to the residents for whom he should serve. We feel that there should be an investigation and a thorough audit to bring transparency to Chipinge residents,” said the report.
In the report, the residents also complained there was lack of transparency over how money generated from vehicle parking was used by the council.
The residents claimed the town council was hiring of police officers and soldiers to monitor parking bays and paying them US$100 each per week.
The residents also demanded the separation of operations between Zanu PF and Chipinge Rural Council as the ruling party officials were accused of interfering with the functions of the local authority.
“CRT showed displeasure in the running of the council saying it now seems as if the councillors do not know their roles in council,” said the report.