Kwekwe councillors demand audit of housing units

Zanu PF and MDC-T councillors in Kwekwe have called for an internal audit of all properties in the city which are being billed amid fears of misrepresentation.

BLESSED MHLANGA

The move was pushed by audit committee chairperson Weston Masiya when he questioned the report by director of housing and community services Newton Dete which indicated that the City of Kwekwe had only 17 571 housing units.

Masiya said it was impossible for Kwekwe to have less housing units than Marondera which in 2012 reported that it had 29 000 units.

“I am certain that the figure presented by the director is understated and propose that there be an audit, internal or external, of all housing units because we honestly can’t have less units than Marondera which is smaller in size,” Masiya said.

Councillors said they were concerned that they could be losing money as some properties seemed to have escaped the billing net and therefore the council budget could also be premised on wrong information.

Treasurer Rejoice Maweni told council that her team was seized with the matter and was in the process of commissioning an internal audit of all housing units.

“We urge councillors to hold on a bit on that thought because in the finance department we are aware of this matter and therefore looking into it that by end of April we could have begun the audit. We want to make sure that everyone is being billed and if necessary all our budget figures will then be adjusted to meet the figures,” she said.

Dete, however, defended his figures saying the 17 571 housing units only captured houses which had been completed and issued with certificates of occupation.

“The other housing units at various levels of construction or those without occupation certificates are not included in this report. We do have the number of unfinished properties which are being billed in supplementary charges and other tariffs,” he said.

Suspicion between management and councillors has become the order of business at town house with some top managers implicated in fraud and corruption.
A recent audit report by Udcorp showed that nearly $1 million in ratepayers’ money could have disappeared from council coffers.

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