Chiyangwa's properties under council probe

Harare – Harare City councillors have resolved to set up a committee to investigate how controversial business tycoon Phillip Chiyangwa acquired vast tracts of land around the city without council approval.

The councillors said Chiyangwa’s acquisition of large acres of land in the peri-urban farms around the city has to be investigated through a land audit to check how he ended up owning the land.

Deliberating at a full council meeting at Town House, the councillors agreed to set up a committee to investigate how the Pinnacle Holdings boss acquired land that he continue to advertise for sale.

The debate was raised by Ward 19 councilor Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi said it was very unfair for an individual to own huge tracts of land at the expense of ordinary residents.

“It is not surprising to note that the businessman might have got the land for peanuts and he is now selling the stands at exorbitant prices. You see the adverts everywhere and where is that money going and is it of any help to the council?” asked Kufahakutizwi at the meeting.

Mabvuku councillor Casper Takura also supported the motion to investigate arguing council land should be sold to residents after a full council resolution okaying the move.

“Council land must be a prerogative of the poor so whatever deals that are being undertaken to enrich one man must be stopped,” said Takura.

The councillors expressed concern that Chiyangwa has been issued too many stands and they suggested that it must be stopped.

Council has already advised Chiyangwa to stop developing a public open space meant for a recreational multipurpose park in Borrowdale.

The director of urban planning Psychology Chiwanga told the council that the “illegal developments” were being undertaken by Kilma Investments, a company owned by Chiyangwa, and he has been served with a prohibition order.

The councillors also resolved that the director submits a report an all land sold to Chiyangwa and companies associated with him.  Chiyangwa acquired arrays of land under yet unclear circumstances that have prompted the council to launch the investigation.

Chiyangwa, a nephew of President Robert Mugabe has been described in Zanu PF circles as “tsuro magen’a” because of his “clever antics” of making wealth.

He boasts of having a degree in common sense and drives top of the range vehicles.

A councillor who spoke on condition that he is not named confirmed that the land audit will be set to investigate why one man acquire such large areas of land while poor residents suffer.

Chiyangwa is also involved in another wrangle in Chinhoyi where the council has evicted him from a farm.  He is arguing that the farm was given to him by Zanu PF under the land reform programme.