HomeLocal NewsCouncillors block $2m luxury vehicle plan

Councillors block $2m luxury vehicle plan


Bulawayo City councillors recently uncovered and blocked plans to purchase top-of-the-range vehicles worth more than $2 million for the local authority’s departmental heads, NewsDay learnt yesterday.

The MDC-T-led council was planning to buy Toyota Prados and Jeep Cherokees for the town clerk, chamber secretary, finance director, health director and other senior directors — but the councillors thwarted the move, arguing the cash-strapped local authority could not afford that luxury.

Instead, councillors said the money be channelled towards the purchase of 54 service vehicles and five refuse compactors.

A source in the finance committee told NewsDay directors were clamouring for new vehicles, especially after mayor Thaba Moyo accepted delivery of a $65 000 Dodge Chrysler Journey last year.

Moyo confirmed yesterday the directors’ quest for top-of-the-range official vehicles had been rejected.

“We shot down the idea because council is facing serious financial problems and it would be unwise for directors to drive luxury cars when service delivery is bleeding,” said Moyo.

Sources said directors had asked council to buy them luxury vehicles at a cost of $80 000 each or be given equivalent cash loans.

Moyo said the local authority would only buy the vehicles “when residents are satisfied with service delivery”.

The local authority received 14 service trucks a fortnight ago and expects another delivery at the end of this month.

The council is saddled with a $9,2 million debt that saw Zesa disconnecting electricity at City Hall which houses the mayor’s office and council chambers. Tower Block, where most of council’s administrative work is done, has also been without power for more than three months.

Council has also failed to repair burst water and sewer pipes while refuse litters the city. City fathers blame their poor financial standing on more than $70 million locked up in unpaid rates by residents and business.

Council is only collecting between 25% and 30% of its targeted revenue, resulting in continuous late payment of salaries.

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