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Exposé : The rot in Harare city council explained

by Mandla Ndlovu
26 Nov 2018 at 09:44hrs | Views
Whistleblower Prisca Mutema has detailed how Michael Mahachi who was former chairperson of Harare City Council Commission fraudulently benefited close to USD $9 million from the City council. Mahachi is before the courts for various crimes he committed when he was Council Chairperson.

Below we publish the  detailed report by Mutema:

Michael Mahachi  stole at least US$8.7million from Harare City Council  and ZINARA,100 hectares of prime land in Gunhill, plus  4000 hectares  in Borrowdale. In 2007, when he did this, he was Chairperson  of Harare City Council Commission, appointed by former minister Ignatius  Chombo.

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Headquarters was one of his buildings. He sold it to ZEC for US$6.3 mil. He connived with Chombo's ministry at the time to deprive the Estate Agent who negotiated the deal of US$500k commission and  ended up in court. The sale of the building was also corrupt and  not procedural.

Some people are feeling sorry for Mahachi. They shouldn't. In 2007, as Chair of Harare City Council Commission, Mahachi awarded the tender to upgrade Airport Rd to Augur Investments without a tender. The road was supposed to cost $10 million , but ended up costing $80mllion.

Mahachi had already been appointed Project Manager of the Airport Rd project by Augur & Sharpe through his company Classique Projects Management. He was to be paid 10% of the cost of the Airport Road. At this time none of these two companies, Augur and Classique existed.

Both were hurriedly registered a few days after Harare City Council (through Mahachi) had already signed the deal. Augur was registered in Ukraine, to facilitate taking forex offshore.

Classique was registered in Mauritius, to also to take money US$ out. Augur was supposed to be paid in land by the Harare City Council, you remember? So, Mahachi and Sharpe also formed a string of shelf companies, most of them registered in Seychelles, to be given the land.

City Council immediately paid out $4 million to Augur to import equipment for preliminary construction work, but Augur imported nothing. At around this time, Harare City Council "discovered" Augur had no capacity to do the job they had been awarded. So what did Council do?

They watched as Augur subcontracted the job to Power Construction of South Africa. Mahachi's involvement in the ownership of Power Construction is also another story for another thread.

All this failed to save the project. In the end, ZINARA stepped in and  completed the road. The Airport Rd in Harare, which was supposed to cost $10milion, including the cost of a flyover and a traffic circles, ended up costing US$87million.

Mahachi, a ZANU PF insider, is being prosecuted now, which is correct. President Emmerson Mnangagwa's anti-corruption unit will be surprised if they look into Mahachi's business deals with another ZANU PF insider and friend of Mnangagwa, Nichoals Vingirai, of ZB Bank fame.

Special note: Rule of law: When Mahachi was pulling all these stunts, he was an illegal Harare City Council official because  the High Court had already ruled the Harare City Council Commission he chaired was illegal. Chombo and ZANUPF  just ignored the ruling.

Questions: Could these stolen millions not have been used to refurbish the water and sewer systems of Harare? To make sure rubbish was collected, drains cleaned and cleared and avoided cholera?

What is happening to the other Mahachi/Sharpe deal where they were given land for building Sunshine Gold Club. It's a popular Golf course in Harare now owned by Sunshine Developers, which is owned by Mahachi   Sharpe.

And all the other land given to at least 8 property development companies that are registered in Seychelles and all owned by Mahachi and Sharpe?

Mahachi  has approached the High Court seeking to gain freedom  after he was denied bail by the Magistrates' Court.

Mahachi who was chairperson of the commission between 2006 and 2013 was arrested and charged with criminal abuse of office.





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