Joshua Maligwa

Joshua Maligwa was Mutare Town Clerk before his demise on 5 January 2021. He died from Covid-19. Before his appointment as Mutare Town Clerk, Maligwa served as Rusape Town Secretary.

Personal Details

1972 - Born
No information could be found on his age, place of birth, or family.

School / Education

No information could be found on his Junior or High School, or any tertiary education.

Service / Career

2012 – Rusape Town Secretary.
Apr 2017 to present (June 2020) – Mutare Town Clerk.


In 2013, it was reported that Rusape Council officials used forged ‘O Level’ certificates to secure employment. The four, Phillip Chivandire (housing officer), Tichaona Kanyoka, (security officer), Dennis Matanga (revenue clerk) and Priscilla Nhachi (personal assistant to town secretary Mr Joshua Maligwa) were exposed after the local authority initiated a skills audit when high levels of mediocrity, incompetence and poor work ethics were noticed within the workforce. Zimsec had a hand in unearthing the scandal. They are charged with forging their Ordinary Level certificates (using certificates belonging to their deceased relatives) and were suspended. Two more officials are allegedly using late relatives’ certificates. [2]

Following the forged O level certificate case, in February 2014, Priscilla Nhachi alleged that Joshua Maligwa was always demanding sex from her, which she refused, leading to his persecution of her. She, a married woman, told the court that each time she stretched out her hand to formally greet Maligwa, he would turn it down and demand hugs. Further on several occasions Maligwa would delay her at work up to 8pm and would beg for sexual favours.
During the trail, Maligwa, who was giving evidence on behalf of Rusape Town Council, shocked court officials and the gallery when his mobile phone rang while he was in the witness stand and he proceeded to answer it. He had a conversation with a person he claimed to be Local Government, Public Works and National Housing permanent secretary, Killian Mupingo. Incensed and shocked by Maligwa’s high-level contempt of court, presiding magistrate Shingi Mutiro immediately adjourned proceedings and summoned Maligwa to his chambers. [3]

It was reported in July 2017 that there was in existence a well-choreographed corruption ring in council that was funneling revenue through their private companies, which were supplying goods and services to the municipality at inflated prices, and getting first priority for payment. Mutare Town Clerk Joshua Maligwa confirmed the development, saying council bled heavily due to the shady dealings. The local authority employs over 1 000 workers, who take up more than 75 percent of council revenue in wages and salaries. The municipality has suffered heavy financial losses, which could have contributed to its failure to pay salaries on time. Losses are largely blamed on the $30 million-plus debtors’ book it is owed by defaulting ratepayers.
Most corrupt officials do not appear on the directors’ list of companies in which they have an interest. They normally hide their interests in these small-to-medium sized companies through fronts and convoluted ownership structures that cannot be pinned down to individuals, unless forensic auditors are brought in. Interestingly, these are hardly owed any money by the local authority. Most of Mutare’s debts are to employees and big, well-established companies like Zesa, not to the smaller companies that Mutare works with. For ecxample, an invoice of four rebounded brake shoes, which cost $100 in some shops had actually been inflated to $320 by one of the companies currently being investigated by council. [4]

In Janaury 2018, Joshua Maligwa with Laurence Mushayabasa, who were facing charges of criminal abuse of duty when they were Rusape town secretary and housing director, were freed on bail. They were represented by Ashel Mutungura and Taurai Khupe, before Rusape provincial magistrate Shane Kubonera. The State was represented by Rusape District prosecutor Tirivanhu Mutyasira.
Mutyasira told the court that in July 2015 Maligwa and Mushayabasa violated Section 74 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9.23 when they both defied a full council resolution and went on to subdivide Raymond Marova’s, and Maligwa bought one of the subdivided stands. A regular full council meeting noted that Opleeves Investments industrial stands were within 70 metres of road servitudes contrary to General Notice 466-2004, which prohibits new developments along the Harare–Mutare Highway, within 70 metres from either sides of the road. In view of this, council through resolution FCO7/07/15, resolved to re-plan the stands belonging to Opleeves Investments so that they do not encroach into the servitudes. Maligwa, in concert with Mushayabasa, then subdivided the piece of land into smaller units for commercial purposes contrary to council resolution FC07/07/15. Maligwa advertised the sale of commercial stands on the subdivided piece of land owned by Opleeves Investments in The Sunday Mail dated 5 March 2017 and prospective buyers responded to the advert. Then Mushayabasa, acting in common purpose with Maligwa, sold the subdivided piece of land to individuals and companies, well knowing that the land belonged to Opleeves Investments and Mushayabasa allocated Maligwa commercial stand number 7711 on the subdivided piece of land belonging to Opleeves Investments.” [5]

At a September 2018 meeting, following the elections of Blessing Tandi as Mayor and Kudakwashe Chisango as Deputy Mayor, Mutare district administrator Wilson Boore said councillors should focus on council business only, and political party issues ended with the 30 July election. Town clerk Joshua Maligwa said Mutare had the potential to become one of the best cities in Africa. [6]

In 2019, Comoil, owned by (at this time) exiled former Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere took Joshua Maligwa to court in a dispute over a stand. Maligwa and a company called Starkist Enterprises (Pvt) were cited as respondents.
Comoil alleges that in January 2008 Comoil and Mutare City Council entered into an agreement to purchase a piece of land, stands 1015-1017, for $75 000 000 000.00. Comoil reportedly paid for the land in full. A few weeks after full payment, Comoil was informed of an administrative error in which stand number 1017 was allocated to Starkist. Comoil agreed to pass the ownership of the stand to Starkist. In December 2008, Comoil, made an application letter to develop a service station complex on the purchased land. For three years, Maligwa and Mutare City Council made no progress.
In 2017, Comoil said a meeting with one Mr Nyatoti and Mr Bingura was held to clear allegations that stand 1016 was also registered under Starkist, but was assured that the issue was just an administrative error and would be corrected. Comoil did follow ups and wrote an application to Maligwa on 29 May 2018 enquiring on the progress of the issue and received no response according to the papers they provided to the court. Continuous engagement between the parties is still there and the agreement of sale has not been terminated or cancelled. The case was still pending. [7]

In November 2019, Joshua Maligwa was put to his defence after a magistrate ruled that he had a case to answer on all five counts of corruption he allegedly committed when he was still Rusape town secretary. Maligwa through his lawyers, Victor Mazengero and Taurai Khupe, had applied for discharge at the close of the State case arguing that the prosecution had failed to prove anything against their client. However, Vusimuzi Gapara said, after anaylising submissions by both the state prosecutor Event Dhliwayo and defence, it was clear that the State managed to prove a prima facie case against Maligwa. [8]

Speaking at a United Mutare Residents Ratepayers Trust (UMRRT) meeting in May 2020, Mutare Mayor Blessing Tandi claimed that council’s resolutions to buy Mayor and Town Clerk Joshua Maligwa each a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado would improve the City’s status. He was also questioned on his attendance at numerous workshops at the expense of ratepayers. “The issue of vehicles will give status to the city, and workshops empower council with ideas.” A resident, John Zimunya, remarked, “The city’s status is not judged by the type of vehicles driven by the mayor and managers, but by the level of service delivery”. “On vehicles, our Mayor was very clear that it has nothing to do with service delivery, but their status,” remarked UMRRT programme director Edson Dube. [9]

Further Reading

He produced a Power Point Presentation for German Cooperation. On Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) using Impala Housing Project with Shurugwi Town Council. How Anglo American Platinum (Amplats)’s Unki Mine in January 2011, entered into a contractual agreement wherein the completed housing units would remain Unki property, however, the mine would also hand over (roads, sewer and water) infrastructure worth $35 million to Shurugwi Town Council upon completion of the housing project under a Built and Transfer arrangement. Unki Primary School and Unki Secondary Schools were built, along with Impali school, surfaced roads, duplex flats for artisans, middle and senior management houses.



Joshua Maligwa died from Covid-19 on 5 January 2021.


  1. Linked In, Joshua Maligwa, Linked In, Retrieved: 8 June 2020
  2. Rusape Council officials used forged ‘O Level’ certificates to secure employment, Manica Post, Published: 10 May 2013, Retrieved: 8 June 2020
  3. Town secretary wanted sexual favours’, Manica Post, Published: 15 February 2014, Retrieved: 8 June 2020
  4. Corruption syndicate bleeds Mutare, Daily News, Published: 13 July 2017, Retrieved: 8 June 2020
  5. Mutare town clerk freed on bail, The Herald, Published: 13 January 2018, Retrieved: 8 June 2020
  6. New councillors warned against taking politics into chambers, Newsday, Published: 8 September 2018, Retrieved: 27 May 2020
  7. Kasukuwere’s company takes Mutare Town clerk to court over property, New Zimbabwe, Published: 26 August 2019, Retrieved: 8 June 2020
  8. Breaking: Maligwa has case to answer, Manica Post, Published: 29 November 2019, Retrieved: 8 June 2020
  9. Pampering executives improves city status: Mayor, Newsday, Published: 27 May 2020, Retrieved: 28 May 2020
  10. Examining & understanding the need for PPPs in Urban Renewal and Growth: (A Case of Impali Source Housing Project-Shurugwi Town Council). Joshua Maligwa Town Clerk-Rusape, Examining & understanding the need for PPPs in Urban Renewal and Growth: (A Case of Impali Source Housing Project-Shurugwi Town Council)., Published: Date Published Here, Retrieved: 8 June 2020