The three men Harare City Caretaker Council appointed by former Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Ignatius Chombo was deliberately appointed to loot vast tracts of prime land in Harare, a special report done by Harare City Council has revealed.
According to the report gleaned by 263Chat, Michael Mahachi then Town Clerk was appointed project manager for controversial businessman Kenneth Sharpe’s owned Augur Investments which was awarded a dubious tender to construct Harare Airport Road.
“The issue of the appointment of the Caretaker Council in unclear circumstances is not a matter that should be viewed in isolation. The picture that has emerged from its dealings and decisions is one of a well-orchestrated plan to plunder Government and Council resources on a grand scale.
“The irresistible conclusion to draw from the events that occurred after the harmonized election of March 2008 in that the Caretaker council was appointed for a specific purpose which Minister Chombo felt could only best be achieved outside the scrutiny of an elected City Council. The awarding of the Airport Road Project to Augur Investments OU was one such project which was to escape elected Council scrutiny. There is substantial evidence that points to the fact that Minister Chombo’s irregular appointment of a Caretaker Council in 2008 was calculated to derive some personal benefit on his part.
“The Caretaker Council was appointed verbally a month after the winners of the council elections had been declared. There was no plausible explanation advanced at that time or indeed at any time thereafter as to why the Minister handpicked three individuals to run the affairs of the City when there were elected Councillors waiting to be sworn in. under those circumstances, it is safe to conclude that the Minister had a specific task for the Caretaker Council when he appointed it,” noted the report
It is further alleged that on 23rd and 26th June 2008, Michael Mahachi after signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Augur Investments chaired two meetings and did not inform the council of the signing of the MoA.
“Once the MoA had been signed, it was kept away from the elected Council with meetings of the signatories to it being held at venues other than the City Council premises. The contents of the MoA have to date, never been brought before full Council for consideration and approval.
“Michael Mahachi however, continued to attend meetings to discuss the Airport Road deal as a representative of the City Council even after the elected Councillors had been sworn into office. The minutes of such meeting which was held at the Augur Investments OU premises on the 6th of August 2008 reflect that the C.E.O of Augur Investments OU, Mr K Sharp, proposed the appointment of M Mahachi by Augur Investments OU as project manager,” read the report.