In a case that reveals gross graft in local authorities, the Chinhoyi municipality sold a 26- hectare piece of land to one of its former councillor without going to tender as required at law.

 

This came out during the public hearings being conducted by the Commission of Inquiry into the sale of state land in and around urban areas.

 

The former councillor was given a token of land measuring 26ha at a purchase price of 80 cents per square metre without going to tender.

 

According to the commission, the sale was supposed to have undergone the tender process, and should have been sold at more valuable price.

 

The council was also supposed to have sat for a resolution on the matter.

 

Chinhoyi Chamber Secretary, Mr Abel Gotora struggled to provide satisfactory answers on whether due process was taken in the conduct of the transaction, saying he needed more time to peruse through a volume of council minutes to ascertain if council ever made a resolution pertaining to the sale of the 26ha piece of land.

 

“We did not go to tender. With respect to the issue of whether the matter was deliberated on by council or not, I will have to check in the minutes book,” he said.

 

Commissioner, Dr Heather Chingono queried whether the concerned former councillor was handed the token because he was part of the system, to which Town Clerk, Mr Maxwell Kaitano said the deal was conducted as part of concessions reserved for councillors.

 

“Councillors are given land at concessionary rates and so in this case the former councillor got the land as part of that concession,” said Dr Chingono.

 

The commission ordered the local authority to produce proof of any payment made towards the purchase of the piece land which have been earmarked for a primary and secondary school.