Massive graft hits Harare council


Cases of massive corruption have hit the city of Harare where reports of theft, forgery and alleged “recycling” of workers facing criminal charges or disciplinary action are said to be on the increase at the scandal ridden municipality.
The city fathers on Tuesday said they noted with concern growing cases of corruption within the council, especially in their schools, clinics and municipal controlled markets.
Irate councillors charged at a full council meeting this week that Town House had developed into a ‘paper tiger’ while council meetings had been reduced into “talk-shops” and criminal activity were also rampant.
“Many cases of corruption are being uncovered but no arrests are being made. It is surprising that we continue to lose a lot of money but we remain quiet,” said one councillor who declined to be named.
Cases of theft discussed included that of a bursar in Highfield who stole $11 000.
The bursar, according to councillors, was said to have been arrested but was recently seen at work in another department within the city council.
“Cases of theft in the city are increasing but the culprits are being let scot-free. There are two cases in Kuwadzana involving two workers but the workers now work at the head office. We need change in this august house. Change is needed in council,” said councillor Herbert Gomba.
Councillor Peter Moyo said: “We’re dealing with politicians and not professional people in this council and we are losing on technicality.”
The full council meeting further heard of two cases in Kuwadzana where employees who stole money from council coffers were transferred to the head office.
Other related cases of corruption reports include suspicions of counterfeit maternity receipt books in the city’s health department.
Council resolved that the Director of Housing and Community Services, Psychology Chiwanga, should take disciplinary action against council employees and that criminal cases be reported to the police.
The cash-strapped Harare City Council is facing difficulties paying its employees and in other instances workers had been paid salaries as late as mid-month. Council officials blame this on lack of revenue because residents were resisting to pay rates citing poor delivery service.
Other councillors blamed this on corrupt officials working in schools and those tasked to collect revenue from council- controlled markets.