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'ZACC must investigate Bulawayo Mayor' former South Africa Public Protector says

by Mandla Ndlovu
11 Aug 2020 at 11:57hrs | Views
Former South African Public Protector Kevin Sifiso Malunga says the Zimabwe Anti-Corruption Commission must investigate reports of corruption allegedly being committed by the controversial Mayor of Bulawayo His Worship Solomon Madlala Mguni and other councillors.

Malunga made the call after Mguni made headlines last week being accused of using his office as mayor working in connivance with other councillors  to award themselves heavy discounts and waivers when purchasing residential and commercial stands around the city of Bulawayo.

According to reports Mguni and former Deputy Mayor,Tinashe Kambarami awarded themselves adjacent stands measuring 4 000 square metres each at the corner of Jessie Lloyd Road and Erica Hapburn Road in Ilanda. With other councillors allocated in-fill stands in Four Winds and Highmount.

"Time for ZACC and MDC Alliance to scrutinise and act on my last article on this subject and dig this deep. This is brazen corruption. All the ill-gotten property must be recovered by the state." Malunga posted on Twitter recently.

Recently, Malunga wrote a lengthy opinion piece detailing the corruption allegations taking place in the City Council.

Find below an extract from the article:

On June 16, 2020, a media storm brewed concerning the proposed lease for 25 years of 3 hectares of land in Upper Rangemore to mayor Solomon Mguni for the monthly sum of $165 (US$2).

Many people raised the issue of the paltry sum being charged for such a prime property. His supporters argued that this is the going rate for renting council property. What they did not get is that this proposed transaction violates basic tenets of clean governance. It is blatant conflict of interest to allocate such land to a sitting mayor. If it happened in the past, it should stop. There may be attempts to spin this, but there is a causal link between his being mayor and the proposed allocation. The town clerk, Christopher Dube, in whose name these adverts are communicated to the public, also failed in his fiduciary duty to protect ratepayers and the integrity of the municipality by allowing this transaction to be considered in the first place.

The international standard and definition for conflict of interest is very simple. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Toolkit For Managing Conflict of Interest In The Public Sector, a conflict of interest exists where there is an unacceptable possibility of conflict between a public official's interests as a private citizen (private capacity interests) and their duty as a public official or civil servant (official duty).

A forensic investigation combined with an audit of all possible conflict of interest scenarios must be gazetted as soon as possible. The likelihood is that what I have described above is just a tip of the iceberg. Secondly, perhaps more embarrassingly given what they preach in manifestos, their political principals - the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) -  must recall them. The irony is that Nelson Chamisa and his leadership have not condemned such abuse of public power by their elected representatives. They are conspicuously quiet. Thirdly, the anti-corruption commission must open a formal investigation with the aim of rooting out criminal and/or corrupt conduct. This awkward state of affairs is surely the height of cruelty to the long-suffering resident and rate payer. If this leadership cannot shape up, they must ship out.







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