Zvishavane Town Council chairman Esau Gwatipedza Dube was barred Wednesday from presenting a report on the 2016 budget debacle by angry residents who threatened to beat him up accusing him and other councillors of being corrupt.
Dube had to be escorted out of Chiedza hall in Mandava township by police amid violent scenes. The chairman was accused of corruption which has grounded services in the platinum and gold mining boomtown.
Dube has since been disowned by Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai members after he and other councillors were found to have corruptly given themselves municipal land. MDC-T youths chanted slogans denouncing Dube and called him ‘thief’ in front of scores of police officers called in to diffuse the unrest.
Residents told Dube straight to his face that he must resign over the scandal in which councillors, including him, were found to have given themselves numerous business and residential stands which they resold.
The residents prevented Zvishavane Residents Association chairman Peter Mudzviti from introducing Dube and giving him the floor according to protocol. They accused the association of corruption and teaming up with the councillors to fleece them.
The angry MDC-T youths also shouted down Brian Magwizi, the chairman of a bogus residents association set up by MDC-T Midlands proportional representation senator Lilian Mpofu Timveos to stymy the residents’ protests over poor service delivery, including dirty water being pumped into homes, sewer bursts and mountains of uncollected garbage. The senator is alleged to be a beneficiary of the land scandal and received several stands.
Local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere was due to address the Zvishavane Town Council corruption issue on an expected visit to the Midlands province. This is after it emerged that Dube and other councillors were victimizing council employees to divert attention from their own scandals. This week, Dube wrote a letter purporting to suspend town secretary Tinoda Mukutu allegedly for failing to act on corruption allegations contained in an audit report commissioned by the councillors. Previously, Dube has suspended town finance director George Jongoni, accusing him of corruption. Jongoni was ordered reinstated by the local government ministry as the allegations could not be substantiated.
Dube claimed on air during a radio interview that he had not received any stands. However, sources dispute this and have shown Now Daily a massive stand that he allegedly owns in Eastlea. Dube is also accused of authorizing a dubious deal in which several land barons, including Forit Construction, RMS and Mornef Investments seized vast tracts of land which they are selling at exorbitant prices.
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