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Fresh charges for ex-Mayor

TINASHE MAKICHI

Former Harare mayor Herbert Gomba could face a fresh wave of abuse of office charges following allegations that he illegally sold a Harare City Council (HCC) swimming pool in Avondale for an undisclosed amount, Business Times has learnt.

It is understood that the proceeds were allegedly channelled towards his personal use. Gomba has been at the centre of various land corruption allegations which saw him getting arrested this year.

He is currently out on bail.

Well-placed sources told Business Times this week that an investigation is currently underway.

“(Herbert) Gomba is facing allegations of selling HCC swimming pool located in Avondale.

The proceeds of the sale are said to have been channelled towards his personal benefit and funding the recent takeover of Harvest House by MDC Alliance youths,” one source said.

The sources said Gomba was also likely to face charges on allegations of selling HCC land in Mufakose suburb. Gomba was not picking calls.

He also did not respond to text messages sent to him. Business Times can report that the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) in the Office of the President has since assigned a team of detectives to investigate the matter. Head of SACU, Thabani Mpofu confirmed Gomba was being pursued on fresh charges.

But he declined to give further details.

“There is an investigation on allegations being raised against former mayor Gomba,” Mpofu told Business Times yesterday. Gomba was recently arrested over various land corruption allegations.

He is currently out on bail. Several other HCC officials and some Deeds Office officials were also implicated in alleged land grabbing around Harare especially in the Grange area.

Over a dozen Harare City Council officials, including human resources and housing director Matthew Marara, town planner Samuel Nyabeze and surveyor Munyaradzi Bowa have been arrested on several allegations that include criminal abuse of office and corruption.

HCC has since suspended Marara and 13 others to pave way for investigations into corruption allegations.

A senior police officer, Superintendent Naboth Nyachega, was recently arrested on allegations of abuse of office and bribery connected to the sale of stands worth US$1 million in Kuwadzana.

It is believed that he connived with HCC officials. A manhunt has since been launched for a fourth council official, Charles Sigauke, who was employed as senior clerical officer at Marlborough District Offices who has since gone into hiding. City of Harare director of housing Admore Nhekairo was also arrested in connection with the case.

It is alleged that Nhekairo approved the allocation of the Westlea stands.

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