KWEKWE — Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo has appointed a seven-member commission of inquiry to probe corruption and fraud allegations levelled against top management at Kwekwe City Council.
The commission, headed by Chegutu town clerk Joel Chikuruwo, has been tasked to look into four areas of dispute between council and the Kwekwe Residents and Ratepayers’ Development Association (KRRDA), who approached Chombo for protection citing plunder of public funds by the council. Other members of the commission include Willie Muringani (former Chegutu mayor), Ben Moyo (former Chitungwiza deputy mayor), M Hungwe (deputy director, Urban Local Authorities), M Mariga (district administrator, Mvuma) A Nhamo (chief accountant — Local Authorities Financial Advisory Section) and L Gopoza (principal administrative officer).
“Following my receipt of a petition from KRRDA alleging corruption, abuse of office and mismanagement by councillors and employees, I hereby appoint you as chairperson of the investigation team, whose mandate shall be to verify the said allegations,” Chombo wrote to Chikuruwo.
KRRDA has accused town clerk Emmanuel Musara of abusing council resources after he allegedly commandeered a generator acquired to power Town House in the event of power outage to his own house.
They also accused him of illegally re-employing audit manager Morris Mutema who had left council for the Diaspora. It is further alleged nine days after his re-appointment, Mutema became acting city treasurer in contravention of the Urban Councils Act.
Chombo also wants the commission to probe town engineer John Mhike accused of hiring out his services to the Infrastructural Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) to draw a plan for Mbizo 22 low-density housing scheme, in a deal he is alleged to have received $86 000 as payment.
“Verify allegations of corruption being levelled against council, namely embezzlement of assets initially bought for council use by council employees, abuse of office by council employees e.g. hiring services from members employed by council.
“Circumstances surrounding the internal auditor’s resignation and subsequent re-engagement,” reads Chombo’s letter, reference number X/18/20. The minister also wants the probe team to establish how the contested 2011 city budget was arrived at before its submission to his office for approval.
Establish how widely council consulted on the 2011 budget . . . in the same light further ascertain whether council has failed to comply with the 30:70 salaries-service delivery ratio, as well as the fact that the budget they submitted was an altered version of what they had adopted,” Chombo wrote.