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Herbert Chitepo Housing Cooperative saga
Harare Residents' Trust (HRT)
December 08, 2011

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Lawyers representing six members of Herbert Chitepo Housing Cooperative and the HRT Membership Officer Simbarashe Majamanda on Monday 5 December 2011 successfully resisted atempts by the police at Kuwadzana Police Station to charge them with criminal defamation charges arising from articles published in the media claiming that the cooperative management was abusing funds.

Lawyer Kennedy Masiye of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said charging the seven would compromise investigations into corruption allegations raised against the cooperative management. He argued that the seven could not be charged before a full invetigation into the serious allegations of abuse of funds and misuse of resources were completed.

The police had summoned six members of the Hebert Chitepo Housing Cooperative namely Tonderai Kandawasvika (41), Polite Manenji (31), Shamiso Maingehama (34), Dorothy Kasamba (58), Tapiwa Zinyuku (38) and Hama Tinarwo (31), and Majamanda in order to charge them with criminal defamation charges.

This followed a report made to the HRT by the cooperative members,alleging rampant corruption and mismanagement of the cooperative by the executive management led by David Paradzayi Chinyanga. This report was subsequently published in various newspapers.

Cooperative members accused the Chinyanga executive of abusing cooperative funds, turning the cooperative into a commercial entity without their consent and blocking the development of the cooperative.

Masiye told the police that "the seven can only be charged after Chinyanga and his executive have been cleared of any wrongdoing." The seven were released without being charged.

On Tuesday 6 December 2011, 10 members of the Hebert Chitepo Housing Cooperative visited the HRT offices and demanded that the issue be further investigated and urged the police and other authorities empowered to deal with corruption to prosecute the whole cooperative executive. Keys issues raised are indicated below;

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