Home » Governance » Govt Directors in Land Scandal

Fourteen Lands and Rural Resettlement ministry directors and officials allegedly abused Government’s non-monetary incentives scheme for civil servants by allocating themselves 37 hectares of commercial land in Borrowdale, Harare.

The directors are also accused of diverting US$58 000 in subscription contributions from the Lands Housing Trust to fund servicing of land.

Sources said the subscription contributions were supposed to service a 358 2260ha project in Harare South, which would provide accommodation to more than 250 families of civil servants.

Lands Housing Trust chairman Mr Morris Dakarai dismissed the claims as false and malicious.

“To date US$59 097 has been contributed by members who have been contributing US$25 every month since April 2013. Only US$5 000 was channelled towards preliminary works done at a plot in Borrowdale, which is earmarked for use by the trust,” Mr Dakarai said.

However, disgruntled civil servants said senior Government officials were in the process of using their money to build houses.

“This is a case of the big riding on the back of the small. Only 14 beneficiaries had been targeted to be allocated the property, yielding more than two hectares person, which is way above the average expected if the intention was strictly for housing purposes.

“Most of the beneficiaries are senior officials from director grade upwards,” alleged a source who declined to be named for fear of victimisation.

The source said Government provided civil servants with land for housing in various urban areas as a way of providing low-income earners with the opportunity to own decent accommodation.

“Government realised that shelter is a basic need and in apparent efforts to provide non monetary incentives for civil servants as a retention incentive,” another source said.

But Mr Dakarai said the two-hectare plots had subsequently not been allocated.

“There was a proposal to do two-hectare plots which has since been revisited to create more stands so as to accommodate more people,” he said.

Mr Dakarai said a meeting on March 19, 2014 resolved “to revise the Notorial Deed of Trust and come up with a policy document that will govern the operations of the trust”.

He said, “The members chose the committee which will spearhead the reforms and the trustees have no objections.”

The trustees are Deputy Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Petronella Kagonye, Mr Joseph Munyanyi, Mr Benson Matamisa, Mr Christopher Mukwende, Mr Shorai Kudzayi Mnangagwa and Mr Gilbert Muzembe.

Source : The Herald