Chi-town gets acting clerk

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Manicaland provincial administrator Fungai Mbetsa was appointed acting Chitungwiza town clerk yesterday.

The appointment of Mbetsa, who is also chairperson of the Chitungwiza resuscitation team, follows the arrest of town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa on charges of abuse of office and fraud involving over $700 000.

The resuscitation team also recommended the suspension of Tanyanyiwa and housing director Jemina Gumbo, who was also arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission recently on 46 charges of corruption.

Councillors who met Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo in Chitungwiza yesterday recommended Mbetsa’s appointment with immediate effect.

The councillors unanimously adopted the motion with Jacob Rukweza suggesting Chombo’s resuscitation team fill all vacant posts left by the managers who have either resigned, been suspended or fired.

Briefing Chombo, Mbetsa said Tanyanyiwa’s house in Chisipite was subject of investigation and that the state-of-the-art vehicles top officials were driving should be sold to raise money to buy facility vehicles.

“The recovery of council properties is now under the Anti-Corruption Commission, hence the files are under the commission’s care pending investigations,” said Mbetsa.

“Three executive vehicles bought for management are now parked at head office. The team is now in the process of making arrangements to dispose the same through the open market.”

The team also proposed to retrench 204 workers employed against Chombo’s directive, while 264 were due to retire. All council workers in council schools, the team recommended, be put under the authority of the School Development Committees.

The team also threatened a blitz to enforce compliance in the payment of more than $34 million the cash-strapped municipality was owed by residents and business.

“The strategies to be adopted to recover the money will be door-to-door blitzes, issuing of summons and legal action and closing shopping malls to force compliance,” said Mbetsa.

On stands, the team instructed council to stop processing of leases and cessions.

So far three officials have been arrested, while chamber secretary Omega Mugumbate and health director Micah Simoyi have resigned.