Suspended Mutare City committee officer Rogers Dapi is alleged to have facilitated the soliciting of bribes on behalf of councilors, the local authority said at the weekend as it intensifies efforts to weed out corruption at the civic centre.
Dapi was suspended last Tuesday after he allegedly participated in the $330 000 water pipe deal that saw the eastern border city duped by a suspected briefcase company.
In the suspension letter dated July 31, the town clerk Obert Muzawazi alleged that Dapi was involved in the bribe scandals.
Reads part of the letter: “The committee set up to investigate council’s operations also found out that you facilitated the soliciting and payment of a $7 000 bribe to some councilors by the Anglican Church.
This illegal transaction was conducted in your office. This is a violation of section 4 (a) of SI 15 of 2006.”
In an interview with NewsDay, Muzawazi said the council was determined to weed out corruption.
“We are investigating our employees who are alleged to have participated in any illegal transaction. If left untamed, corruption will destroy our city, therefore, we need to act early. We are going to pursue all avenues to bring corrupt officials to book,” said Muzawazi.
Before his suspension by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, Mutare Mayor Brian James had advocated for a full audit of council finances and investigations into alleged corruption by employees and councillors.
The suspension of Dapi and council’s buyer James Makumbe has been welcomed by residents who are calling for full investigations on councillors allegedly involved in graft.
“We are fully behind the decision to weed out corruption. Those culprits should be arrested and there is also need to name and shame councillors involved,” said Desmond Mwedzi of Mutare Combined Residents and Ratepayers’ Trust.