Byo Mayor Distances Self From Undervalued Land As ZACC Pounces
19 September 2020

State Media

BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) recently offered mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni a piece of land where he intended to build six town houses for an unjustifiable amount of US$2 500.

According to council minutes, council resolved that Clr Mguni should go ahead and construct duplex flats on stand number 19789 Bulawayo Township subject to full compliance with the council regulations.

“On the recommendations of the Town Clerk, it was resolved that a development permit to construct six town houses on stand number 19789 Bulawayo Township be granted to Solomon Mguni subject to full compliance with the requirements of the director of engineering services, director of housing and community services, and any other municipal by-law requirement including payment of a once off premium of $161 700 or US$2 500,” read the council minutes.

Contacted for comment, Clr Mguni claimed the council minutes were “withdrawn from council”.

He said the proposal was rejected by the Town Lands and Planning Committee’s sub-committee on allocation of stands and premises for development.

“Of course, I applied to council for a piece of land where I wanted to develop six duplex apartments and the responsible committee rejected that proposal, saying it was not proper. It never went before full council hence there is no resolution to that effect. This matter is being resurrected because the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption (ZACC) team is in town and they want to find some wrongdoing on my part,” he said.

“You can check with the Chamber Secretary because she is the one with all council resolutions, she will tell you that this was withdrawn before it went before full council. These guys (ZACC) are meeting tomorrow and they want to find a case against me.”

Efforts to contact the Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube or the Chamber Secretary Mrs Sikhangele Zhou were fruitless as their phones continuously went unanswered.

Recently, there was a public outcry after BCC offered Clr Mguni agricultural land in Lower Rangemore under a 25-year lease at $165 per month rent.

Residents accused local authority officials of abusing privileges and parceling out land to cronies at what they described as ridiculously low rentals.

Some residents have widely circulated on social media an advert confirming the 25-year land lease being offered to Clr Mguni, arguing that it is tantamount to corruption.

According to the notice flighted on May 29, Mr Dube revealed that Clr Mguni has been offered a land lease in Rangemore for agricultural purposes on Lot 3 of plot 3 Lower Rangemore.

The lease is for an initial 25-year period while monthly rentals are pegged at $165, subject to review.

The notice stated that residents objecting to the proposed lease should submit their written submissions at Tower Block by June 18 at the Director of Housing and Community Services offices.