MDC-T-dominated Ruwa council has been mired in controversy following reports it awarded multi-million-dollar tender to a losing bidder, after some councillors were threatened with dismissals from the party should they disregard the directive.
Residents and other councillors, who claimed they were forced to vote in favour of the losing bidder, allege they were promised $300 000 each while management was promised
$150 000 to share if they awarded a tender to a company that had lost the bid.
The councillors have since written to the Ruwa Town Council secretary Juliet Makombe and copied Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo dissociating themselves from the “irregular tender procedures” that saw another company winning the tender, yet the majority of the councillors had voted for Moving Water Industries.
However, council board chairman Pinias Mushayavanhu said the project was underway with a team recommended by the Local Government ministry.
“It has become a political issue. As an MDC council, there are lots of enemies and even hostility from some of the councillors. Work is in progress and as we speak, we are at an advanced stage.
We are working with a team recommended by the technocrats from the ministry,” said Mushayavanhu. But, the letter by the councillors read in part: “We, the undersigned dissociate ourselves from the use of purported signatures, which we signed under duress at a party meeting chaired by the deputy chairman of Chitungwiza (Edward Musumbu) and attended by provincial members, Goromonzi District members and Ruwa councillors.
“We were told that if we do not sign we were to be dealt with, but no specified means were elaborated which put our lives in danger as there were party youths milling around the office we were in.”
The letter was signed by councillors Sengai Masvingise, Matambudziko Chisangowerota, Bichard Chitumba and Mapitse Katuka.
Ruwa residents who have gone for years without water are also fuming and accusing the council of corruption and failing to execute their duties properly.
Abiton Musuta of Ruwa Residents’ Association said they wanted the tender to be given to end the water woes.