Mutare City council has dared disgruntled residents and civic society organisations to report municipal management implicated in corrupt activities with the Dangamvura quarry miner to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).
In a public response to a flurry of social media allegations of corrupt activities against city officials, Mutare said those implicated should be reported to the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC).
Social media has been awash with reports alleging that un-named council officials were involved illegally benefitting from the Chinese quarry stone mine investment project.
Freestones Mine operations were stopped by a public uproar after they commenced preparatory works at Dangamvura mountain in contravention of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirements at the beginning of the year.
Civic society organisations and residents have submitted a petition, against the mining investment to the Minister of provincial affairs Nokuthula Matsikenyeri.
However city said it instituted an internal investigation and absolved its management of wrong doing, as it warned of the negative reparations of such one sided reportage on council investment.
“Unfortunately articles like these have an adverse impact on Council operations and goodwill for instance in 2020 the City lost substantial investment opportunities after the publication of articles of this nature.
“A developer who was resident at Civic Centre had to prematurely part ways with Council after the article was seen by its Headquarters in Germany.
“May it be known from the onset that Council does not condone corruption and all Council employees are bound to adhere to the Core Values of Transparency, Accountability, Integrity, Equity, Responsiveness and Team Work,” reads part of the Notice.
City of Mutare said it while it welcomes constructive criticism from the citizens, journalists and all other stakeholders “it would be fair and just that whosoever that seeks to publish information about the activities of Council seeks its comments and reflects the same in his publications.”
They further demanded that evidence of corruption being held by civil society or the media should be submitted to them first to avoid peddling of unsubstantiated allegations which they claim compromises the reputation of the city.
“We urge residents and media practitioners to avail the evidence first to either Council or any law enforcement agents so that we avoid peddling unsubstantiated allegations as they compromise the reputation of the city, the well founded trust with its residents as well as service delivery,” further reads the statement.
The notice seemingly follows the script of United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers (UMRRT) executive director Bishop Sebastian Bakare, who also claims to have investigated and absolved officials accused of similar misdemeanor.
Bakare released a statement claiming that he conducted an investigation into allegations of corruption and connivance levelled against members of his executive.
However both council and UMRRT have not produced evidence of investigations, considering the gravity of such allegations and the implications on council business in the Chinese quarry deal.