Chipinge Town Council employee resigns after audit

Town Secretary Susan Dube.
Ellen Mlambo
CHIPINGE – Chipinge Town Council Procurement Officer Smart Chikati has resigned following a suspension letter served on him by his bosses three weeks ago.
Sources told The Mirror that the suspension followed an audit on the use of devolution funds disbursed to the local authority by the Ministry of Local Government and National Housing.
The suspension letter is signed by the Acting Administration and Human Resources Officer Manyuke Chirayeraye.
The audit team unearthed irregularities on the procurement of some solar powered borehole pumps and purchase of Honda fit vehicles for council employees.
It is also said that there was violation of the Procurement Regulatory Authority Act as certain material was bought from a company which was not shortlisted in the tender bid.
Chikati confirmed both his suspension and subsequent resignation in an interview with The Mirror.
“I don’t have much to say but this has come as an opportunity for me to move on with life. This is common in workplaces that you can be suspended, resign or die at work. Am not comfortable with you covering this issue in the Press,” said Chikati.
Efforts to get a comment from the Town Secretary Susan Dube were fruitless. The Mirror could also not establish how the matter would now proceed after Chikati’s resignation. Chikati has been at employed at the local authority for the past two days, The Mirror has been told.
Sources said after the tender, three companies were shortlisted and procurement was done with any of them.
Auditors described the irregularities as gross abuse of office and recommended for Chikati’s suspension. Sources also said that Chikati resigned while investigations were still going on.

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