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ZACC go after Chombo, Dinha

Information reaching The Standard shows that Local Government, Rural and Urban Development minister Ignatious Chombo (pictured), former special interest councillor Charles Nyachowe and Mashonaland Central governor advocate Martin Dinha, among others, are being investigated.

Zacc Chairperson, Denford Chirindo confirmed the investigations.

Sources told The Standard last week that Nyachowe was being investigated for allegedly  sub-dividing and selling stands without authority at a peri-urban farm around the Snake World area which he was allocated in 2008.

Dinha allegedly bought a Bindura town council house for US$0,48 cents.

Chombo and Bindura town clerk, Japhet Kabanga, are being jointly investigated with Dinha for allegedly conniving to unlawfully pass ownership of the house to the governor when he was till executive mayor.

Both Nyachowe and Dinha last week denied the allegations.

“We have a policy that we don’t rush to arrest people before doing thorough investigations,” Chirindo said.

Zacc sources said on July 28 2008, Nyachowe allegedly forged an offer letter which he then presented to the owners of the then Ingwerati farm a few days later.

The farm had not yet been gazetted and Nyachowe allegedly sold stands from the farm earmarked for agricultural purposes before a change of land use was authorised.
Nyachowe denied that he had sub-divided and sold stands at his allocated farm. He said he was still waiting for a response from government to his application to sub-divide the farm for residential purposes.

“I want to start a low-cost housing scheme to benefit over 3 000 people. Beneficiaries will only pay for the servicing of the land and I don’t see this as corruption,” he said.

Dinha allegedly bought a council house for US$0,48 cents when he was still the Mayor of Bindura without a council resolution or without advertising in terms of section 152 of the Urban Councils Act.

Dinha last week said his purchase of the concerned property was above board as it was part of the packages approved by the ministry of local government for all the executive mayors in the country.

He said other mayors in cities such as Gweru and Kariba were given their mayoral Mercedes Benz vehicles, houses and stands, while he only benefited from the house which he paid for.

Dinha said government experts in 2008 evaluated the house before he paid ZW$1,2 million for the property, an amount equivalent to about US$48 000 then.

“Unfortunately, the transfer of the property into my name was delayed and when this was eventually done, the central bank had knocked off 15 zeros from our local currency,” he said. “For the purpose of transferring ownership, the deeds office then decided to use the value of $0,48 cents.

“There was nothing amiss because all the other properties which were being transferred were being given similar value during this time when the US dollar was not yet a legal tender.”

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