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Free for all at local authorities


Free for all at local authorities


• Acting Town Secretary buys self US$60 000 Fortuner


CHIREDZI – It appears to be a free for all at Zimbabwe’s local authorities.
Acting Chiredzi Town Council secretary, Wesley Kauma has bought a US$60 000 Toyota Fortuner using council funds and curiously the car is said to be registered in his name.
Residents expressed concern that Kauma got the car even though he is not a substantive secretary.

There are also allegations that the vehicle was bought without going to tender and the money was taken from Melbourne account, a housing scheme started in 2019 but has failed to take off the ground because of financial mismanagement.
Two senior councillors namely; the council deputy chairperson, Finance Committee chairperson and the MP of the area professed ignorance over the source of the money used to buy the Fortuner.

The Mirror last week reported a similar situation at Bikita RDC where the local authoritybought 6 state of the art Toyota vehicles at a cost of US$380 000 and registered them in the names of managers.
Chiredzi West MP, Farai Musikavanhu castigated the deal and said the procurement of the car was not transparent.
He said there is no one including the Minister of State for Masvingo, Ezra Chadzamira, councillors and residents associations who is aware of the details of the car.
He said buying a US$60 000 vehicle at a time when council cannot even supply water to residents is an unnecessary luxury which needs to be investigated.

Musikavanhu wrote a letter to Kauma dated April 18, 2022 demanding full disclosure of the source of funds used to purchase the vehicle and terms and conditions under which the local authority availed the vehicle to an acting town secretary.
He also demanded documents pertaining to commitments that council may have made to purchase vehicles for the Finance Director, Housing Director, Town Engineer and Town Planner.

“I hear that there is a fifth vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner that the acting town secretary recently acquired but chose not to present to Minister Chadzamira. This is one of those “luxury vehicles” that council chairman Hwende referred to as not being a purchase priority for cash strapped Chiredzi council. It is expected that you will disclose the sources of funds used by the council to buy the Fortuner and the terms and conditions under which the council availed the vehicle for use as the acting town secretary,” reads part of Musikavanhu’s letter.
Asked for a comment on the letter, Musikavanhu said instead of getting answers from Kauma, he got a letter from Paul Mangwana, the council lawyer and Zanu PF secretary for legal affairs ordering him not to interfere with the running of the council.

Musikavanhu dismissed Mangwana’s letter as null and void and said he is still waiting for responses to the questions that he raised with Kauma.
Kauma confirmed the purchase but refused to give details of the source of the funds or the tender details. He referred questions to Mangwana.
Mangwana said he was not aware of the issue of the car or the car itself.
United Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (UCHIRRA) communications officer, Constance Chikumbo expressed shock and vowed to write a petition to the Minister of Local Government, July Moyo.

She said thatit was corrupt for council officials to clandestinely acquire property using council funds and then register it in their names.
Chiredzi deputy chairperson, Ropafadzo Makumire confirmed the purchase but said she was not aware of the source of the money. She however, said that the resolution to buy vehicles for senior managers was made years back.
“I am not sure when the resolution to buy the car was made. It is some years back and unless if it was rescinded it still stands and is binding. I am not so sure where the money to buy that vehicle came from,” said Makumire.

The Finance committee chairman, Rogers Chikonye said he did not know where the money used in the procurement of the Fortuner came from.
She professed ignorance on how funds raised from the purchase of Melbourne stands were used. She promised to look into the Melbourne issue.
“Kauma is not substantive, he is acting and it’s fishy that they have not only bought a vehicle for him but they have registered it in his name. How can council spend so much money on someone who is acting? Residents are not happy with the move,” said Chikumbo.

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