Harare residents want Chombo probed

HARARE – Harare residents have demanded the setting up of a commission of inquiry into allegations of widespread corruption involving the controversial Local Government, Urban and Rural Development minister Ignatius Chombo.\r\n

Hundreds of Harare residents marched through the streets of Harare, Tuesday, denouncing Chombo and called on the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and parliament to probe the embattled minister on his acquisition of over 100 stands and houses from council.

The residents also lambasted Harare mayor, Muchadeyi Masunda for his apparent reluctance to pursue investigations of corrupt land purchases in the council.

The march, organised by the Combined Harare Resident Association (CHRA) saw residents marching from Town House and besieged Africa Unity Square. They were dancing and belting out songs denouncing Chombo saying he is a corrupt minister.

CHRA chairperson Simbarashe Moyo delivered a petition to Tsvangirai’s office and parliament demanding a full investigation of the properties and wealth linked to Chombo, who is a close ally of President Robert Mugabe.

Moyo addressed the demonstrators and told them that they were also concerned with the way Chombo was running the affairs of the city. He said Chombo was dismissing elected councillors who were investigating his acquisition of vast tracts of prime land in the city.

”The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government should also commission public hearings on Chombo as residents strongly feel that he has a case to answer.  Residents call upon the principals to the Government of National Unity to look into Minister Chombo’s issues,” said Moyo.

In the petition, residents also demanded a probe into the acquisition of council land by businessman Phillip Chiyangwa.

“We refer the incriminating findings of the Harare Land Audit which saw Harare councillors being arrested instead of Minister Chombo and Chiyangwa. We refer to the fact that the Harare land audit report has been kept under wraps and out of reach of the public eye.

“We refer Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda’s reluctance to support the elected councillors’ resolution to carry out further investigations into Minister Chombo’s alleged unprocedural acquisition of hundreds of hectares of land,” reads part of the petition.

Chombo’s wealth, which includes dozens of vehicles, houses and stands was published in the media following his divorce with wife Marian. Details of Chombo’s wealth are contained in his divorce papers at the High Court.

Chombo earns about US$500 a month as a government minister. – Daily News