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Gwanda suspended workers disappear

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GWANDA — Investigations into alleged corruption at Gwanda Municipality have been dealt a huge blow after it emerged that some of the suspended treasury department workers have fled the country.

Gwanda Municipality recently instituted an investigation into alleged irregularities in the treasury department and suspended five workers fingered in the scam.

However, mayor Lionel DeNecker told NewsDay at the weekend that four of the suspended workers had disappeared.

“Four of the suspended workers have disappeared making our investigations difficult. One of the suspended workers, a Silaigwana, seems to be there when needed and the other four are just not there, we now hear they have skipped the border,” DeNecker said.

“They are not responding to letters of invitation from the board of inquiry and that alone is an issue that needs to be resolved. The matter is with the police. To us, by simply not responding to the board of inquiry invitations it’s an admission of guilt. But their disappearance makes it difficult for council now because we don’t have any cells, (we) cannot detain any people, but we hope that at some stage they will be caught because the police are good in that regard.”

DeNecker said since the matter was transferred to the police (CID) they hope the four will be tracked down.

“But by and large residents are there to answer to some of the issues, they are the instigators, they come and give front-counter clerks money illegally. It will backfire on residents who are involved as they will at some stage be called to testify,” the mayor said.

From the treasury department, the investigations are expected to spread to the marketing department and engineering sections.

“The audits will be thorough and we expect a change of attitude towards work within council,” DeNecker said. He said the current probe had not strained working relations between management and workers, but opened up avenues for communication.

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