GWERU – The City of Gweru has with immediate effect suspended the Estates and Valuations Manager, Gibson Chingwadza over allegations of embezzlement leading the local authority into losses amassing USD300 000 through shoddy properties lease and stand deals.
The suspension, without salary and benefits, also follows recommendation by a forensic land audit carried out by the Ministry of Local Governance that advised disciplinary action over Chingwadza.
Most of these crimes were committed during the time Chingwadza was doubling as acting Chamber Secretary and Estates and Valuations Manager.
Chingwadza is facing 10 counts of misconduct that include leasing of tower lights stands to network providers without council resolution, valid lease agreements and proof of rental payments. Council also alleges that Chingwadza failed to put in place controls in the advertisement and disposal of commercial, industrial and institutional stands.
“You leased five tower lights or you caused five tower lights to be leased by council to Tower Resources for use as base stations for various network service providers with no council resolutions that approved the leasing, valid lease agreements or proof of rental payments.
“The total prejudice to council is USD246 877.59,” reads part of the suspension letter.
“…failed to take appropriate action to safeguard council assets and collect revenue due and you failed to put in place controls in the advertisement and disposal of commercial, industrial and institutional stands as the process weren’t safeguarded enough to allow for more checks and balances.
Resultantly, due to fraud, theft or gross misconduct council was prejudiced USd28 919.81,” the suspension letter further reads.
Council further alleges that Chingwadza falsified stand measurements, would sell stands without following due processes and during his tenure converted land reserved for a Golf Course in Mkoba into 5 stands leading to council losing USD16 059.22.
Allegations also further state that Barna Gardens was operating without an updated lease for which it was Chingwadza’s office responsibility to make sure that such paper work is in place. It is also alleged that he was involved in the Kudzanayi Terminus sale, for which no proof of payment is available to the deal.
The suspension letter also cites that the accused failed to keep proper and traceable documentation to land sales and proof from council also shows that the accused would either inflate or reduce stands costs against council recommendations.
Council also cites that Chingwadza would ‘…re-allocate, rename and replace stands without council approval.’
The suspension comes nearly a year after Town Clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza was suspended for gross incompetence.