Crime & Courts

ZACC Arrests Two Land Ministry Officials

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By Staff Reporter

Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has arrested two Land Ministry officials for abuse of office after it is alleged that they prejudiced to the ministry the sum of USD3 828 000.00 being the value of the 60 residential stands.

The two accuse persons, Rejoice Pazvakavambwa and Lazarus Chimba are expected t appear in court today answering to the allegations being laid upon them.

Pazvakavambwa is the Deputy Director Valuation and Estate Management under the Ministry of Lands Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement and at the material time she was the Chief Valuations Officer in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works & Urban Development responsible for proper Administration and validation of Deed of Grants and Transfer of Deeds. She is a Public Officer.

Chimba, the second accused person is the former Deputy Director Valuation and Estate Management in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development. He was a public officer. Currently he is employed by Evaluations Estates as the Registrar of Evaluation.

ZACC spokesperson, John Makamure confirmed the arrest.

Allegations are that on 13 September 2007, the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development entered into a partnership agreement with Sally Mugabe Heights Housing Co-operative for the Development of residential stands ranging from 1 000 to 2 000 square metres at Arcorn Farm. Datronics (Pvt) Ltd was chosen as the developer for facilitating Title surveys, Engineering design plans, Road construction, provision of storm water drainage, water and electricity reticulation to standards approved by the Local Authority and ZESA.

The role of Ministry in the partnership was to provide land at intrinsic value, facilitate Title survey and issuance of Title Deeds. In terms of clause 2.2 of the Agreement, the Ministry set aside 319 residential stands as security to the Developer to cover for his money in the event that some of the beneficiaries fail to pay the full cost of servicing the stands.

It is said the 319 residential stands were in the custody of the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development and were to be transferred to Datronics [Pvt] Ltd in terms of clause 2.2 of the Agreement.

“In early 2008, Datronics (Private) Limited wrote a correspondence to the Statelands Section, seeking to be given Security residential stands to use at NDH Bank Limited in order to secure loans to use for servicing the land.

“Upon receiving the request from Datronics [Pvt] Ltd and on 02/06/2008, Happiness Masaraure an Administration Clerk at the Statelands office sought guidance from Accused 2 wherein he asked whether they should grant Datronics [Pvt] Ltd free grants. Ordinarily free grants are only given on special circumstances by the Minister in liaison with the President. Accused 2 responded and advised Happiness Masaraure to follow the same procedure that was used at Carrick Creagh where free grants were issued,” wrote Makamure in a statement.

ZACC is alleging that the accused persons were also aware that the Developer had not met conditions for early title and that he had not met his contractual obligations as no meaningful developments had been done on the ground.

There was also no certificate of compliance from the local authority. The accused persons actions were in apparent show of favor to Datronics [Pvt] Ltd and prejudicial to the Ministry of Local Government & Public Works in the sum of USD3 828 000.00 being the value of the 60 residential stands.

 

Robert Tapfumaneyi

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