Resident groups from Chitungwiza have made a police report against Ward 12 Councilor Darlington Musonza and Ward 13 Councilor Kevin Mutimbanyoka following a spike in illegal land sales in the dormitory town.
The illegal land deals have seen rampant destruction of wetlands in Chitungwiza.
Musonza and Mutimbanyoka were identified as some of the culprits behind wetlands destruction in Chitungwiza.
The residents’ groups comprise of Chitungwiza Residents Trust (CHITREST), Chitungwiza Community Development Network (CCDN) and the Old People’s Association of Chitungwiza (OPAC).
In June, the groups partnered with the Harare Wetlands Trust (HWT) to preserve wetlands in Chitungwiza.
The groups’ representative, Philip Tarambiwa confirmed having launched the police report with CID Chitungwiza on July 15.
“What motivated us to report the case is the continuous destruction of our valuable wetlands in Chitungwiza. Councilors and council officials are violating by laws to invade wetlands for construction purposes yet these wetlands are supposed to provide us with water especially given the erratic water situation in Chitungwiza,” said Tarambiwa.
The case against Musonza and Mutimbanyoka relates to destruction of wetlands at the corner of Tilco and Chitungwiza Road. Sources said workers from the housing and planning departments are under investigation as well.
In June the Environmental Management Agency fined the Chitungwiza Municipality for allowing developments on the wetlands yet developments continued despite the EMA directive to halt the illegal developments.
One Detective Makavi who is handling the case declined to comment.
However, Councilor Musonza confirmed having been interviewed by the police.
“Yes I was interviewed by the CID and if you need more information you can get more information from them since they are still investigating,” said Musonza.
Mutimbanyoka also confirmed that he was summoned by police over the issue.
He however dismissed the claims from residents as false.
“Yes, there were false reports which were made and I went and clarified this,” said Mutimbanyoka.
Mutimbanyoka’s name has however often been mentioned on issues of land barons in Chitungwiza.
Last month, the residents’ groups from Chitungwiza petitioned the Provincial Minister for Harare, Oliver Chidau to act against rampant corruption that has resulted in illegal land deals in the dormitory town.
At a breakfast meeting hosted by the Harare Wetlands Trust (HWT) last month, the deputy Minister of Local Government, Marian Chombo, expressed concern over the issue of land barons in Chitungwiza adding that there is need for action to bring them to book.