HomeNewsChitungwiza hands 7-day ultimatum to Chombo

Chitungwiza hands 7-day ultimatum to Chombo

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CHITUNGWIZA residents have given Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo a seven-day ultimatum to clean the financial mess at the local authority and cause the arrest of corrupt council officials, failing which they would boycott paying rates.

BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
SENIOR REPORTER

The ultimatum follows an audit report where seven council managers were fingered in a $2 million scam.

In a statement yesterday, the Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust (Chitrest) said: “We are hereby giving the relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Local Government and other interested stakeholders such as the law enforcement agents and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission seven days to act, failure of which residents will be left with no option except to seriously consider boycotting the payment of rates to a corrupt, rotten and misguided town council management which enriches a few at the expense of the suffering ratepayers.”

The residents said they had waited in vain for a long time to have “institutionalised” corruption at the local authority dealt with.

The management is alleged to have siphoned over $650 000 from the council through a suspicious slush fund account and this was exposed by an audit team seconded by the Ministry of Local Government last month although the audit report is said to have been embargoed.

“As residents, we demand a copy of the report produced by the audit team from the ministry in the same manner a copy of the land audit team seconded to Chitungwiza and Seke Rural in November 2013 was made public and given to Chitrest as a residents’ representative body,” reads the statement.

The residents said corruption had over the past years become a tradition at the local authority and potentially prejudiced council of nearly $2 million in less than five years, with jailed former town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa having fleeced the council of $700 000.

Chitrest appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government on April 9, during which they raised issues related to financial and governance irregularities at the local authority.

They said it was disappointing that corrupt activities had continued unabated at a time when the local authority was failing to deliver services to more than a million residents and ratepayers.

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