Shurugwi – Tongogara Rural District Council has fired its Chief Executive Officer, Brian Rufasha who faced four charges of indiscipline.
One of the charges that Rufasha was found guilty of is unbelievable.
The hearing heard that Rufasha engaged the services of Gweru Messenger of Court to deliver a mail to Executive Officer Finance Miss Sithembiso Ndiripo who was on leave.
The July 2020 letter was merely asking Ndiripo to report back to work. The hearing panel concluded that this was unnecessary and a flagrant misuse of public funds. Rufasha could simply have phoned Ndiripo or delivered a letter to call her back to work, said council lawyer Advocate Nelson Mashizha of Mashizha and Associates.
The hearing also noted that the messenger of court was involved without the any court order.
Rufasha faced four charges and was found guilty on three of those. He was on suspension for the last few weeks and his dismissal follows hot on the heels of the dismissal of council human resources manager Messa Dhliwayo who leaked information to the suspended CEO.
This charge was a violation of Section 45(a) of the Public Finance Management Act Chapter 22.19.
Rufasha was also found guilty of procuring a backhole loader from Pelgin Consulting Service (PVT) Ltd against the advice of the procurement committee. The committee had indicated that Pelgin had no capacity to supply such equipment.
The council as a result lost US$67 850 as the loader was never delivered or the money recovered. The hearing tribunal concluded that Rufasha acted in connivance with Pelgin as he took no legal action against the company for failure to honour the contract.
He was also found guilty of conduct inconsistent with council processes in that he unlawfully purchased a business stand which was to be repossessed by the council from Spiwe Tambaoga . He misrepresented to her that it was under repossession and offered to purchase it for US$ 500 in August 2019 in the justification that he was doing a favor as she was on the verge of losing it.
“You are hereby dismissed from employment by TRDC in your substantive capacity as CEO of TRDC with immediate effect. You are directed to hand over council property in your possession to the Acting CEO Piniel Chiguvari by Wednesday 18 of November and also surrender council vehicle Toyota Hilux Registration Number AAE 7902 to the council on the same date,” said the Tribunal.