MUTARE– Four suspended City Council executives facing charges of illegal disposition of council land have decided against challenging their suspensions but instead opted to resign with benefits, an official has said.
By Donald Nyarota
The four middle managers, suspended without pay and benefits, for their alleged involvement in a land sale scam, appeared before a municipal hearing where they indicated their reluctance to go through a formal hearing.
Town Clerk Joshua Maligwa told 263Chat that the cumulative forty one counts levelled against the four were too strong hence they have now opted to hand in resignations to salvage benefit packages.
Maligwa said the four through their legal representatives have since approached the finance department for calculations of their severance packages to finalise the matter.
“They appeared before the disciplinary committee represented by their lawyers, and it appears as if they are contemplating parting ways with the city council that is the direction they are now taking.
“It was actually sudden, why, because the charges are just too hot to handle even if they wanted to challenge the charges they would be wasting their time because they will not be in a position to defend any of those transactions.
“They are now seeking to mutually terminate their contracts or simply resigning, the hearing was just procedural it did not even last an hour, they have since approached the finance to get clarity on the calculations of their benefits.
“If they reign they will get their full packages but if one is fired it means that they lose all their benefits, so it seems that these guys have decided to leave with something and also to preserve their professional and personal integrity,” said Maligwa.
At the hearings held yesterday, legal representatives of the quartet of, Tawanda Kanengoni (legal officer), Christian Sithole, Isadore Bingura and Mr Joachim Gonese (valuer) indicated they would not challenge the merits of charges levelled against their clients.
Kanengoni is facing 14 counts, Bingura (13), Sithole (3) and Gonese (11), charges relating to land sales dating back to May 2017.
Among the charges, Kanengoni allegedly sold a commercial stand Number 11658 Dangamvura measuring 227 square metres to one Bernard Matondo for US$2 500 without following tender procedures.
Kanengoni is alleged to have presented draft agreements of sale for the allocation of stand 27514 in Golf Course, Dangamvura, measuring 300 square metres to the Town Clerk, misrepresenting that council had authorised the allocation of the replacement stand when the agreement of sale was non-existent.
Kanengoni also stands accused of gross incompetence after he allegedly prepared agreements of sales which did not contain clauses on value added tax, servicing costs and survey fees.
Bingura is accused of theft or fraud after he allegedly sold stands, including State land, and converted the money to personal use.
Sithole and Gonese, are also facing similar charges of illegal sale of council stands, in areas including Fairbridge Park where land was disposed without being surveyed.