HomeLocal NewsCouncil prioritises top-of-the-range vehicles

Council prioritises top-of-the-range vehicles

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Cracks have emerged within the Mutare municipality over a plan to purchase four top of the range vehicles for senior managers at a time the eastern border city council is grappling with poor service delivery.

The council plans to buy a Toyota Prado for the town clerk and three Toyota Fortuner vehicles for the city engineer, city treasurer and director of housing and community services respectively.

The city fathers also want to purchase a further 20 utility vehicles to bring the total cost to $1,2 million through a bank loan scheme, NewsDay was informed.

According to a council schedule in this newspaper’s possession, the Toyota Prado and the three Toyota Fortuners will gobble up to $358 000 while the 20 utility vehicles will gobble a cool $900 000.

While there appears to be consensus on the need to buy utility vehicles for service delivery it is the proposal to buy four luxury vehicles for top managers that has caused uproar in the council.

The plan has been subject to heated debates in council committee meetings for the past weeks with councillors arguing there was no need to award the senior managers top-of-the-range vehicles because service delivery was poor.

Esau Mupfumi, a prominent businessman and special interest Zanu PF councillor said:

“There is no water in parts of the city and potholes are all over.

We have to address these problems first before we can start pleasing these people.

The vehicles they are using now are alright until we see improvements in service delivery.”

At one of the council meetings, mayor Brian James said residents were likely to protest because they felt short-changed.

The mayor told the meeting that the council should strike a balance between service delivery and provision of vehicles to its employees.

James reportedly stormed out of the meetings held to deliberate the matter in protest.

He was not available for comment on Monday.

His deputy George Jerrison said he saw nothing irregular in council honouring its contractual obligations to its senior employees.

“We have not agreed on the vehicles for the managers yet.

The issue is still being discussed,” Jerrison said.

“What we have agreed on is that we want to buy utility vehicles such as tippers, refuse removal trucks and tractors.”

Jerrison added:

“There is also the issue of contractual agreements the council has with its senior employees that we should give them vehicles and pay school fees for their children. But we have not come up with a position.”

The deputy mayor said the council’s top managers were using inferior vehicles such as Mazda B1800, a situation he said was not befitting their status.

He said council was satisfied with their performance hence the need to buy them the top-of-the range vehicles.

“We are satisfied with their performance,” he concluded.

Mutare has of late been experiencing water problems despite having one of the most reliable sources of water, Pungwe River.

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