Chitungwiza Town Council acting town clerk Fungayi Mbetsa is under fire from council workers accusing him of corruption and abuse of office.
The accusations are stemming from the fact that the Mbetsa-led resuscitation team was reportedly leasing council beerhalls for a paltry $1 300 per month.
Mbetsa, who was appointed by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo in January this year to resuscitate the sagging fortunes of Chitungwiza Town Council, is facing a barrage of criticism from the Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Councils Workers’ Union (ZURCWU).
ZURCWU general secretary Bernard Dhanda also claimed: “They advertised jobs in the newspaper this week and shortlisted themselves for the same jobs. Mbetsa once applied for the post of town clerk and that application was dismissed.”
But Mbetsa dismissed the allegations of corruption saying: “I want to be transparent in everything I do and to leave a system which will be viable to everyone. As for those advertised jobs, it is a personal decision to apply or not to apply. As long you are qualified for the job you will be shortlisted.”
However, Dhanda said the union had already engaged legal practitioners to deal with Mbetsa’s alleged abuse of office and have vowed the workers will embark on industrial action if the matter was not addressed.
“Last Thursday, we engaged Mambara and Partners to deal with the issue of Chitungwiza council where Mbetsa and his team are abusing their offices and soon we are going for an industrial action if he does not meet workers’ terms,” Dhanda said.
“Leasing of beerhalls to our understanding is not a good idea because the previous council management organised a seminar in Kariba where they agreed that all council beerhalls must be refurbished.”
Dhanda said the local authority bought generators and television sets for the beerhalls in November last year, but they had not yet been installed because Mbetsa and his team reportedly claimed beer sales were not viable.
“Some of those beerhalls can raise $25 000 per month and they have 136 workers,” said Dhanda.
“Mbetsa’s five-member team is getting $80 000 per month yet these 136 workers are getting $59 000.”
The council is also accused of unilaterally withdrawing workers’ allowances, failure to negotiate in good faith with workers in acting positions for a long time as well as failure to come up with a consistent pay- day among other things.