By Sydney Gokomere
Gweru, September 10, 2016 – GWERU residents have called on the authorities to start implementing recommendations of a government audit which unearthed a lot of corrupt activities at the local authority July last year.
The audit, conducted between July 3 and July 15 last year, lifted the lid on a land scam by top managers who have allegedly grabbed residential stands in the city’s while paying small amounts for them.
The managers, according to the audit, have also pampered themselves with huge amounts in terms of fuel and transport allowances, among other benefits.
In the area of residential stands, the audit showed that council managers were allocated stands in the spacious Kopje area at $8 instead of $25 per square metre.
“Twenty seven (27) residential stands in the Kopje area were being processed for sale by council to management at a reduced cost price of $8 instead of $25 per square metre, the stands were allocated as a pre-service sale,” part of the audit report read.
Council senior managers were double dipping when they were entitled to both 320 litres of fuel and transport allowances ranging between $615 to $800 a month.
“Management were at times drawing up fuel from the council central stores for both private and council pool vehicles under their custody,” the report further revealed.
After the audit report, Local Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere suspended the entire council at Gweru in August last year.
But a year after the audit, senior council officials fingered in the scam are still working without any action being taken against them, a situation that has raised the ire of residents.
“We have a situation where top management officials fingered in corrupt deals are still conducting official duties at Town House without any disciplinary action taken against them and this is unacceptable,” Gweru United Progressive Residents and Ratepayers Development Association Trust executive director, David Chikore said.
“Residents cannot understand how people fingered in corruption can work side by side by the caretaker commission. We are organising, as residents, so that we approach council to get a fuller picture of what they are doing to implement the audit recommendations.”
Acting town clerk, Edgar Mwedzi could not be reached for comment.