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Police raid Harare council meeting, arrest 20 Councillors

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  • ... ZACC is investigating a suspected case of criminal abuse of office which has led to sub-division permits being issued and houses being built on Warren Hills Golf Course.

By Mutsa Makuvaza

POLICE yesterday evening raided a Harare City Council meeting and smoked out 20 Councillors who they say are suspects in an ongoing investigating on land corruption in the local authority.

Even journalists who were covering the event were thrown into the police trucks and only released after being cleared at the police station.

Journalist Takunda Mandura of online publication Open Parly told this reporter yesterday evening that police disregarded the scribes’ pleas that they were merely journalists covering council proceedings.

“They bundled us onto the back of open trucks together with the 20 or so Councillors as we were at the Town House.

“Our pleas to identify ourselves fell on deaf ears as they insisted if ee were in the clear, that would ne determined at the Harare Central Station,” he said.

At least two other journalists, Munashe Chokodza of 263Chat and Blessings Chidhakwa from the State-owned Herald, were caught up in the swoop.

The Media Institute for Southern Africa’s lawyer Chris Mhike was deployed at the police station to secure the journalists’ freedom.

According to Mandura, the police said they were acting on instructions from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).

No comment could be obtained from the police, Harare City Council or ZACC. However, sources at the City Council told the Zimbabwe Voice that ZACC is investigating a suspected case of criminal abuse of office which has led to sub-division permits being issued and houses being built on Warren Hills Golf Course.

ZACC this month wrote to the Estates and Evaluations Manager at Harare City Council, Emmanuel Mutambirwa, requesting for information to assist them with their investigations.

The ZACC letter, dated October 8, 2020 follows developments taking place at Warren Hills Golf Course pointing to the likelihood of land having been sold on the golf course.

Read the letter from ZACC, “This office is investigating allegations of criminal abuse of duty by a public officer as defined in Section 174 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

“To facilitate our investigations, we kindly request your good office to furnish us with;

  • current status of Warren Hills Golf Club,
  • comment on the developments taking place in Warren Hills Golf Club,
  • sub division permits for Warren Hills Golf Club,
  • Warren Hills Golf Course Site Plan,
  • any lessors and proof of payments for Warren Hills Golf Course land beneficiaries,
  • Warren Hills Golf Course change of use and council resolutions, and
  • Warren hills Golf course Association lease agreement with council.”

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