MDC Alliance has responded to a report in the State-controlled Herald that some of its party officials are involved in corruption.
The Herald on Tuesday published an article alleging that top MDC Alliance officials including the party‘s leader Nelson Chamisa is involved in a residential stands allocation scam in the capital city, Harare.
The report follows the arrest of Harare City Council officials, including Mayor Herbert Gomba, human resources and former housing director Matthew Marara, the city’s town planner Samuel Nyabeze and surveyor Munyaradzi Bowa on a number of allegations that include criminal abuse of office and corruption.
The article alleges that Harare City Council gave Hayes Construction, whose director is MDC Alliance secretary-general Charlton Hwende, a site to build flats in Southerton.
An unnamed source who spoke to the publication said Chamisa was allocated a 3 000-square-metre stand number 19740 in Gunhill and there is no record he paid for the stand.
The source further alleged that Chamisa’s brother Starman was allocated a residential stand measuring 2 000 square metres opposite the United States embassy in Westgate in 2019. Allegations are that the stand was only paid for recently, despite the fact that he had a stand in Sunningdale allocated on a recreational tennis court. He, however, sold the stand in connivance with Marara.
Another beneficiary according to the source is Mr. Murisi Zwizai who allegedly got a stand behind Borrowdale Police Station, again without following the council processes.
In response to allegations of corruption and the arrest of officials on criminal abuse of office charges, MDC Alliance says that while it does not condone corruption it is against the selective application of the law.
The party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said that MDC Alliance officials have conducted themselves in accordance with rules and by-laws.
The statement reads:
As the MDC-Alliance, we wish to reiterate our commitment to the fight against corruption in light of the allegations being made within the Harare City Council. As a party that values integrity, we hold ourselves accountable to the ideals of good governance and the belief that all corrupt activities must be independently investigated. To date there has been no substantiated evidence that our officials have not conducted themselves in accordance with Council rules and by-laws.
As far as the operations of the Harare City Council are concerned, the Council has laws and processes that it adheres to. The party does not control how Council conducts its lawful, day-to-day operations. Accordingly, we note the desperate attempt to conflate issues of alleged corruption in the Harare City Council with the activities of the MDC-Alliance as a party.
We do not believe in immunity and impunity where a wrong has been committed.
We are also mindful of the temptation by the regime to weaponize the law for the purposes of retaliation in light of their recorded failure to pursue corruption cases over the past few months. We are aware of the selective application of the law as relates to COVID-19 tenders and other cases involving political elites. We remain opposed to the arbitrary arrests of people in order to investigate.
We call on all allegations to be investigated in accordance with the law and in a transparent non-partisan manner.
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