By Judith Kajuma
Victoria Falls City one of Zimbabwe’s biggest tourist destinations is under threat amid allegations of rampant corruption by the city fathers.
It is alleged that some council officials are parcelling out undeveloped stands on undesignated land without following proper procedures.
According to Hwange District Residents Association deputy chairperson Mr Donnie Mwembe, council officials are selling out stands on wetlands and commercial stands without going to tender.
This comes after the Hwange District Residents Association received numerous reports from residents over irregularities in the selling of both residential and commercial stands.
“Victoria Falls City council officials are repossessing and parcelling out land and selling it to the next person without following correct city bylaws. When you look at the service delivery, it is very poor. Residents are paying rates but there is no service delivery.
“Government’s initiative is that no house should be build without sewer. Even in the CBD there are new structures that were built without sewer,” said Mr Mwembe.
However Mr Mwembe said the matter was reported to Police Anti Corruption Unit (PACU) and Special Anti Corruption Unit (SACU.
“We reported the case to SACU and PACU and the Equiry Reference Number ER17/21.
A council official who spoke on anonymity confirmed the reports saying the same corrupt officials are the ones who give misinformation to PACU and SACU.
“It is difficult for PACU and SACU to get to the root of the matter because the same people who are corrupt are the same people whom they ask for information to carry out their investigations. They are the same people who keep all the files and at the end of the day go with the wrong information because they are misinformed and the perpetrators continue destroying the city,”
Victoria Falls City is home to one of the world’s Seven Wonders of the World, the Victoria Falls (Mosia-Tunya) the smoke that thunders
Being the country’s biggest destination market, the welfare of the tourism capital is a national concern that needs urgent attention.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Local and Public Works has dispatched a team of highly skilled auditors to conduct an audit in the country’s thirty-two urban councils starting with the city of Victoria Falls.
This comes after residents slammed local authorities for running down urban councils, turning wetlands into concrete jungles.
With the incessant rains experienced this rain season, many residents have lost their hard earned properties due to poor planning by the city fathers.