…residents threaten demonstration
By Tinaani Nyabereka
GWERU– The under fire City of Gweru Town Clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza could soon be smiling all the way back to work if cleared on corruption charges after the city council has finally finished paying for her brand new Toyota Land Cruiser VX car.
Gwatipedza was suspended in 2019 on incompetence and corruption charges but the local authority had started paying for her car in 2018 which cost residents US$176 000.
City of Gweru mayor Josiah Makombe said that the council has cleared all the money for the car to Toyota Amalgamated Motor Company (AMC) whom he said will deliver the car soon.
“The car was bought by the council and it remains council property. The payment was started in 2018 and it has been paid in batches.
“The council has now finished paying for the car and we now await delivery. It was bought for the Town Clerk who is on suspension pending a disciplinary hearing.
“For the benefit of residents let me make it clear that the vehicle was bought at a 1:1 rate while the bond was still equivalent to the United States dollars,” added Makombe.
Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) director Selipiwe Cornilia said the council is going out of its way to buy luxurious cars for the management when little attention is given to service delivery threatening a demonstration if the new car is not exchanged for an ambulance and other service delivery vehicles.
“As residents, it is our wish to see our officials driving dignified cars but it’s a challenge now if they buy top of the range cars for themselves while buying second hand vehicles for service delivery. That on its own compromises service delivery.
“Also our roads are not worthy for us to buy vehicles of US$176 000 because they are poor .If these cars break down it’s us residents who will ensure that they are serviced again.
“We urge the mayor and management to reconsider the car for exchange with an ambulance and other two service vehicles for the betterment of service delivery failure of which we will demonstrate,” added Cornilia.