Nehanda Radio reports that Chitungwiza housing director Jemina Gumbo recently appeared in court charged with 46 counts of criminal abuse of office after she allegedly allocated commercial and residential stands without following laid down procedures.

According to the State, Gumbo allocated two stands to Prophet Makandiwa‘s United Family International Ministries (UFIM) church on November 7, 2008 and another one on July 8, last year. Council had approved the construction of a stadium and hotel on the two stands. 

Prosecutor Oliver Marwa alleges that between 2008 and 2011, Gumbo allocated stands to individuals and organisations she favoured without publishing them in the local newspapers as required under section 152 of the Urban Councils Act Chapter 29:13.

Back in November last year, RelZim reported that MDC chairman for Chitungwiza Alexio Musundire and some Zengeza residents had sought the High Court’s intervention claiming that council flouted the Urban Councils Act in allocating the stands to (UFIM). Back then, Makandiwa won a High Court reprieve to continue constructing the 30,000-seater church in Chitungwiza when Justice Tedius Karwi ruled that an application challenging the construction was not urgent.

Gumbo also allocated the Watchtower Bible Society a stand, set aside for a shopping centre. 

The State further said that according to the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act, the application for change of use of the stands was supposed to have been made by Chitungwiza Municipality, the owner of the land.