Gweru sets up committee to probe corrupt councillors

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Gweru City Council has established a special committee comprising three councillors and three council managers to investigate alleged corrupt activities by two MDC-T councillors, Albert Chirau (Ward 11) and Moses Marecha (Ward 5).

BY Stephen Chadenga

Chirau is facing allegations of leasing out council property and converting the money to personal use, while Marecha is being accused of extracting gravel in his ward and pocketing the proceeds.

“It was resolved that a special committee comprising councillors (Kenneth) Sithole (Ward 4), Cathrine Mhondiwa (Ward 13) and Tiripayi Chipondeni (Zanu PF) and three members of management be established to investigate the corruption activities by councillors Chirau and Marecha,” minutes of a special council meeting held on the May 18 read.

However, the investigations now seem to be in limbo following the suspension of Sithole, Chirau and Marecha by Local government minister Ignatius Chombo on allegations of abuse of office and council property. The three were suspended on May 21.

Chirau has a pending court case in which he is alleged to have pocketed money from club houses in his ward.

He appeared in court last month, but the docket on the matter has since been referred back to Gweru Central Police Station for further investigations.

Marecha was, however, never arrested on charges he is facing, but the issue of his alleged corrupt activities was raised by workers at the beginning of their daily tea break protests last month.

Information at Town House, however, reveals workers were not happy that the councillors had been tasked to investigate their colleagues.

“How can fellow councillors investigate each other?” queried workers’ committee organiser Simbarashe Leboho.

“You would have expected neutral people to investigate the alleged graft against the said councillors.”