Local Authority

Housing Director urges residents to report corrupt officials


City of Mutare Housing Director Emily Mandiziba has urged residents to report any acts of corruption within the local authority.

Mandiziba emphasized that it is crucial for residents to provide evidence of corruption, rather than just castigating the local authority’s integrity.

Speaking in a telephone interview with The Midweek Watch, Mandiziba responded to complaints from residents in Sakubva, particularly those staying in council-rented apartments, that some employees were demanding kickbacks each time they locked houses that had rental arrears during the day.

The employees would then promise to unlock the doors at night, upon receiving a bribe.

“Fighting corruption requires the cooperation of the community, and disciplinary action can only be taken where evidence has been gathered,” Mandiziba said.

“We urge residents to report such cases and come forward as witnesses, so we can fight the scourge of corruption together. They can even record the serial numbers of the money or take videos to reveal the real people behind the corruption. Action will definitely be taken,” he added.

Mandiziba emphasized that residents should not pay bribes to council employees, but instead pay their bills to the council, which will then be used to provide better services to the community.

 Jusa Kudherezera, the director of the Manica Youth Assembly (MAYA), also weighed in on the issue, stating that it would be improper to label the council as corrupt without evidence to support the allegation.

Kudherezera said his organization had noticed some loopholes in the local authority, particularly regarding the locking of council-rented houses, where employees would demand a $10 bribe to unlock the house in the evening for tenants to be able to cook and sleep.

“There are some loopholes in our local authority that our youths are taking advantage of. Some of the council employees from the housing department have a tendency of coming to lock doors at council rented houses particularly those in arrears and demand a bribe of US$10 to enable the family to have access to cook and sleep during the night and will come again in the morning to lock the doors.

“This shows that probably some policies in council are only focusing at management level and leaving the employees below them,” Kudherezera hinted.

MAYA’s project aims to train youths around Mutare to participate in budget consultations and track and monitor the council’s budget.

“We have trained youths from all the 19 wards in the city who will also train other youths from their wards about integrity. This project will focus on council elected officials and management,” Kudherezera explained.

He added that his organization also plans to work closely with the council to establish if personnel in the housing department value integrity.

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