Harare City Council to probe Chiyangwa's properties
HARARE – Harare city council’s audit committee will this week begin investigating business tycoon and Zanu PF sympathiser Philip Chiyangwa’s residential properties in the city’s up-market residential suburbs, amid reports that some of them have no planning permission from the Council and corrupt deals by council employees.
Chiyangwa through his Pinnacle Holdings, owns a number of properties in Harare and other parts of the country. The city council wants to investigate how the business tycoon ended up owning those assets.
The maverick and flamboyant Chiyangwa’s properties are listed on the agenda of the council’s audit committee in a development that is likely to bring out the Harare City Council’s corrupt dealings in the past.
One councilor revealed that Chiyangwa was at one time awarded council property after buying vehicles for some council officials in return for land.
“These issues should have been discussed last week but because of the death of Amai Tsvangirai, the meeting had to be postponed.
“The committee is seeking to establish how Chiyangwa ended up owning those properties, in the hope of correcting past embezzlements,” said councilor for Mt Pleasant, Warship Dumba.
Dumba said the audits would also look into all Council Assets and Investments/Revenue projects with the view of making public the performance of these investments and all revenue generation projects.
Last year Chiyangwa signed a US$500 million deal with the CBZ Building Society through his Pinnacle Holdings and intends to build houses around the country.
Prior to that he took over the country’s sole cement manufacturing company Circle Cement and this has made it difficult for individuals, particulary those in the Diaspora to access builing materials.
In addition to that, over the years, Chiyangwa has been selling cement in the Diaspora in foreign currency flouting the country’s so called foreign exchange regulations.
Some business people have been prosecuted for externalisation, but his closeness to Robert Mugabe and his business partner, the Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono has made him the untouchable.
It is believed that Chiyangwa donated free cement for Robert Mugabe’s mansion.
The investigations come in the wake of calls by Transparency International – Zimbabwe for a forensic audit to determine the magnitude of corruption that has dogged the Town House to date.
TIZ said the investigations should include the periods of the illegal and legal commissions that have run the affairs of the council over the past 10 years.
“It is our clear conviction that the apparent gaps in the governance of the Town House through legitimately elected councils have fuelled the rot. The oversight role of the councilors is also greatly compromised by a system of patronage that has destroyed the very fibre of professionalism and ethical behaviour,” TIZ said in a statement made public last week.
Transparency International Zimbabwe is a registered trust whose vision is to have a Zimbabwe society anchored on the values of accountability, transparency and integrity.