Bulawayo City Council management has reportedly secretly bought top-of-the-range vehicles for departmental heads despite a recent motion blocking the move by councillors, it has emerged.
Councillors opposed the purchase of cars worth over $2 million for directors citing the local authority’s precarious financial position.
But it emerged this week that council management defied the councillors and bought a Toyota Prado and a Toyota Fortuner vehicles for the finance director Kempton Ndimande and his housing and community services counterpart, Isaiah Magagula respectively.
Ndimande confirmed the procurement of the luxury vehicles on Thursday saying the remaining cars for other directors would be delivered soon.
“We have since ordered the other vehicles and they will be delivered as they are manufactured. A Prado and a Fortuner have already been delivered,” he said.
The development has angered councillors, who question the rationale behind the decision given council’s failure to pay workers’ salaries.
A councillor said there would be fireworks at the next full council meeting on the first Wednesday of July when the City Fathers would demand an explanation over the purchase of vehicles against their resolution.
Sources at City Hall said the vehicles were delivered last week but were hidden at a safe house until month-end when salaries for last month would have been paid.
It also came to light that of the 14 service trucks that were supposed to be delivered to council, only seven had been received raising suspicion the directors had bargained for the purchase of their luxury vehicles. It was feared the purchase of the cars could spark industrial action by disgruntled workers.
“Council is facing serious financial problems and had to borrow from the bank to pay salaries but at the same time they are rushing to buy cars when there is a crisis,” said a councillor.