$450 000 vanishes in latest Chitungwiza scandal

Government is probing Chitungwiza municipality amid reports that the scandal-ridden local authority was given $450 000 for projects, but the money could not be accounted for.

Chitungwiza is reeling under corruption that has seen several officials arrested, suspended or fired.
Last week, Finance minister, Tendai Biti, said his ministry had notified the relevant authorities over the missing funds.

“We are concerned with Chitungwiza. We gave them $450 000 meant for sewerage but they have misused our money and we have taken this up with authorities,” Biti said.

Government has set up a resuscitation team following the arrest of town clerk, Godfrey Tanyanyiwa and other senior officials.

Fungai Mbetsa, acting town clerk who is also leader of the resuscitation team set up by Local Government, Rural and Urban Development minister Ignatius Chombo, was not immediately available for comment yesterday.

The local authority is also struggling to clear debts owed to several institutions among them Harare City Council which it owes more than $7 million.

Biti also said his ministry was concerned with private companies who were failing to perform well in projects paid for by government citing the Harare-Norton and Harare–Masvingo road dualisation as examples.

“We are concerned with the Harare-Norton dualisation. We have recent pictures of the project together with the one near Zindoga along Harare-Masvingo highway. Government is working on the Masvingo highway project, but a private company is running the Harare-Norton one. They have been stagnant for a long time and we are displeased by inefficiency and inconsistency in the projects,” Biti said.

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