Brian Chitemba and Samuel Kadungure
POLICE are investigating Zanu-PF Manicaland youth chair Cde Mubuso Chinguno for allegedly swindling US$160 000, including from teachers, in a residential land scam.
The Sunday Mail understands at least 21 people have filed official complaints with the police, prompting the ruling party’s Youth League to set up a team to uncover what is going on.
Police National Spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said, “Yes, I confirm a report was made (in) Chisumbanje and the docket has been transferred to Chipinge for further investigations.”
Sources close to the investigation say Cde Chinguno used his political office to take control of 300 hectares of land meant for a Government housing programme for youths.
When President Mugabe directed that instead of dishing out stands it would be more prudent to build apartment blocks, the land was reportedly somehow transferred to a company controlled by Chinguno.
He allegedly subdivided the land and told people to pay monthly premiums to secure ownership of developed stands.
However, it appears little actual developments were done on the land, prompting the police reports.
Yesterday, Cde Chinguno said the allegations were political, and that he used some of the money to pay for surveying, grading of roads and pegging of stands.
He said part of the money was used to pay for tuck survey, grading of roads and pegging of stands.
“We cannot create a squatter camp; we can’t allocate stands without water connection, that will be a recipe for disaster,” said Cde Chinguno.
It is understood a police report was made on October 16, 2017 effectively putting paid to claims by Cde Chinguno that he was being victimised by unnamed people for having denigrated Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa via the private media around October 19/20.
The Zanu-PF probe team – comprising Cdes Tungamirai Mutonhodza (national youth secretary for security), Blessed Ziome, Nqobile Ndlovu, Letwin Dombodzvuku and Vidah Garakasha – was at Checheche Primary School yesterday and met scores of people who presented documentary evidence to buttress allegations against Cde Chinguno.
Cde Mutonhodza said, “We are collecting the evidence and by November 15, we must be done.”
Preliminary investigations indicate that when Cde Chinguno was “illegally” allocated about 300 hectares of land in Chipinge, he engaged his brother, Mr Munyapi Chinguno, and the brother’s wife to run an office that took individual monthly subscriptions of between US$10 and US$50 from homeseekers.
Some of the money was allegedly deposited in a bank account held by a close relative of Cde Chinguno.
Indications are that Cde Chinguno – without consent – registered some Zanu-PF youths as part of the company.
Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association representative Mrs Prisca Matanga said the organisation wanted to get 400 stands and members had forked out US$50 each per month to this end.
“We have 100 members who are fully paid up but we are failing to get the stands,” she said.
Zanu-PF Chipinge Ward 21 chair Cde Lindiwe Muchongoda said Cde Chinguno had charged people US$5 each for stationary used for adminstrative purposes when he had bought it for less than US33c.
Cde Zivai Chandiya of Ward 6 accused Cde Chinguno of failing to address youths’ grievances.
Among other youths who raised complaints against Cde Chinguno at yesterday’s meeting were Cdes Douglas Mlambo, Elisha Mandhazi, Dakarai Matongo, Pamela Waeni, Trust Dunguni, Tonderai Ngwendu, Joyce Muyambo and Memory Baiwa.
Emotions are running high around the contentious land as six people died in September 2016 while coming from the launch of the housing programme at Gaza Stadium.
The six – who were declared district heroes – are Cdes Peter Ndlovu, Jimmy Hletsiwa, Phenias Kazende, Douglas Mashava, Tawengwa Zimhira and Driver Murambo.
Their widows yesterday also had no kind words for Cde Chinguno.
Information reaching The Sunday Mail is that Cde Chinguno may have bought a lodge in Chimanimani and a Toyota Landcruiser using loot from the stands.
It is further said a senior Government official is trying to allocate more land to Cde Chinguno in Sabi so that he can accomodate those people he allegedly swindled in Chipinge.
“The idea to develop a housing project was noble but the problem is Chinguno and company took advantage of desperate youths. The greedy ones are swindling the helpless youths. This damages the image of the party,” said a party official.
“These people who are pretending to be bona fide Zanu-PF officials are just out to make money. Why steal from the public. Someone must be held accountable.”
Approached for comment yesterday, Zanu-PF National Secretary for Youth Affairs Cde Kudzanai Chipanga was not forthcoming, simply saying investigations were in progress.
Presented with the preliminary findings of the probe, he said: “We made a collective decision as the top 10 of the Youth League to launch an investigation into the allegations. Cde Chinguno will be given the opportunity to present his side of the story and after that we will map a way forward. So why not wait until the investigation is complete?”
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