- What has drawn the interest of investigators is that the land in question was sold even before a council resolution was secured.
THE Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the Office of the President (SACU) has launched an investigation on a possible corruption case involving the sale of 24 hectares of land for ZWL$26m in Vainona, Harare, as the corrupt land sale sucks in senior MDC Alliance officials.
The land in question was last year sold to Hardspec Investments, which is “linked” to prominent businessman, Farai Rwodzi and Vincent Guramatumhu, and the land was sold without following proper procedure.
There are also claims that the same land was also sold to 14 other buyers and this has since delayed any possible development on the project.
Head of SACU, Thabani Mpofu, confirmed the probe yesterday saying: “We are investigating a possible corruption case on that land but I can’t divulge any more details as investigations are still in progress.”
Rwodzi said he was not involved in the land deal but only provided funding to Guramatunhu.
“I am not the one who bought that land but I only availed funding to Vincent (Guramatunhu),” Rwodzi said.
Rwodzi further availed a memorandum of agreement of sale between Hardspec Investments and Harare City Council together with an expression of interest that was flighted in the local press.
It is understood that the sale of the land, which is part of Mount Pleasant Golf Club owned by Harare City Council last year, was meant to cover salaries backlog.
“Please be advised that I am offering your company the above stand at a purchase price of ZWL$26.7m inclusive of Value Added Tax (VAT).
“Be further advised that you can now go ahead and pay the purchase price pending the outcome of my report to council to secure a council resolution and my communication with the current lease holders,” read part of the letter addressed to Hardspec by Harare City Council dated September 4, 2019.
What has drawn the interest of investigators is that the land in question was sold even before a council resolution was secured.
There are also allegations that one of the top Councillors (names withheld) pocketed US$90 000 as a facilitation fee. It is understood that the deal has implicated several senior MDC-Alliance officials.
A number of land deals involving the council, individual councillors and officials are under investigation.
Already, over a dozen Harare City Council officials, including former human resources director Matthew Marara, City town planner Samuel Nyabeze and surveyor Munyaradzi Bowawere have been arrested on a string of allegations that include criminal abuse of office and corruption.
Recently, Marara and 13 other employees were suspended by council to allow investigations into corruption allegations.
A senior police officer, Superintendent Naboth Nyachega was also arrested recently on allegations of abuse of office and bribery connected with the earlier sale of stands worth US$1m in Kuwadzana.
This year, City of Harare former director of housing Admore Nhekairo was arrested in connection with the case where he allegedly approved the allocation of the Westlea stands. ■