Mayors gang up against Minister Ignatius “20 Borrowdale Stands” Chombo

HARARE – Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) mayors and chairpersons of local authorities around the country meet in Harare Wednesday to discuss ways of stopping the Minister of Local Government, Ignatius Chombo from his “corrupt escapades” around the country.

The controversial Chombo was financially struggling as a university lecturer a few years ago but since he became minister of local government, he has risen to become one of the richest individuals in Zimbabwe and owns vast tracts of urban land, houses and more than 12 companies.

Last year, a special investigations committee on irregular acquisition of  land in the Harare City Council implicated Chombo, businessman Phillip Chiyangwa and senior council employees.  The city council reported the matter to the police but no action was taken.

Instead, Chombo has been on a crusade against the local authorities, suspending elected mayors and councillors in what is being viewed as an attempt to stop local authorities from investigating him and his cronies.

In a statement Tuesday, the MDC said Chombo must be stopped as he is disrupting the smooth operations of local authorities.

“All the mayors and chairpersons of the MDC run councils meet in Harare on Wednesday to craft a lasting solution on ways to deal with Ignatius Morgan Chiminya Chombo, the Minister of Local Government, following fresh evidence they have unearthed on the Zanu PF politburo member’s incessant meddling in local governance, public policy formulation and, on his own corruption escapades.

“The meeting, a follow-up to a series of similar engagements dominating discussion in local government in the last quarter of 2010, shall debate the progress made in restraining the wayward Chombo from inflicting damage to the smooth running of almost all towns and cities.

“Chombo, under a cloud of corrupt land deals literally covering the whole of Zimbabwe, has been on the warpath to confuse investigations into his personal affairs through suspensions and dismissals of popularly elected representatives,” reads part of the statement.

The mayors will meet under the banner of the Democratic Mayors’ Forum.

The mayors met last year and recommended a parliamentary inquiry into Chombo, arguing that he was destroying councils and was on a crusade to reduce the number of elected councils.

Wednesday’s meeting is expected to attract representatives from towns like Kariba, Chiredzi and Beitbridge.  The mayors are expected to present a report to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on their findings and recommendations.

In December, Chombo suspended councillors Warship Dumba and Casper Takura, who are at the forefront of investigating the minister for corruptly acquiring prime land in Harare. – Daily News