SOME former Marondera municipality workers have accused the local authority’s top management of corruption and nepotism amid threats by local residents to stage demonstrations over a stands scam.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE/JAIROS SAUNYAMA
In a petition to Local Government minister, July Moyo, the former workers accused town clerk, Josiah Musuwo and his top management of employing their cronies without following proper procedures as well as engaging in corrupt activities.
“Council has filled assistant directors’ posts without any adverts. The finance department is a good example. This is despite the fact that the Local Government ministry had given council a moratorium not to employ for three years,” read part of the petition sent to Moyo on February 1 and signed by a former workers’ representative an ET Tambedza and an R Charakupa.
“The chamber secretary seconded the human resources officer to appoint accountants and revenue officers without following sound human resources practices.”
According to the workers, council has been retrenching people without following due process and it has, at times, fired people without reason.
“There is a lot happening in council. Please send a team to investigate, particularly in finance,” part of the petition read.
Among the allegations raised by the ex-workers were that proceeds from the sale of timber were never credited to council books. There was suspicion that the money could have been diverted to personal use.
“One company tendered $4 000 for blasting in the Chitepo Extension sewer and water reticulation project and won the tender as the lowest bidder. After some works, the contractor invoiced council for $22 000 and was duly paid,” the petition stated.
Attempts to get a comment from Musuwo were fruitless, as he was not picking up his mobile phone.
Meanwhile, residents in the town have threatened to hold a demonstration at Marondera Town Council demanding the local authority explain the whereabouts of money paid for stands a few years ago.
Council reportedly collected $1 500 from each homeseeker promising to give people stands at Elmswood outside Marondera town.
The stands deal coincided with campaigning by Zanu PF’s Marondera Central legislator, Lawrence Katsiru, who used the deal to lure supporters promising them that they would get the stands if they paid the amount.
Katsiru was campaigning for the seat after it became vacant following the expulsion of Ray Kaukonde.
Initially, homeseekers were made to pay $511 before they were told to add another $1 000 for the stands.
Tempers flared at a full council meeting in Marondera on Monday when councillors from both Zanu PF and MDC-T questioned the local authority on the whereabouts of the money as well as to when people would be allocated their stands.
Ward 5 councillor, Misheck Manyere revealed that residents from his ward, who parted with their money anticipating to getting stands, were threatening to demonstrate and cause havoc at council offices if they failed to get satisfactory answers.
“I had a meeting with 86 people from my ward, who paid their money for the stands. These people told me that they are going to invade council premises and demonstrate over this issue. Moreover, they are now plotting to invade Elmswood and allocate themselves stands if council fails to move and address the issue quickly.
“As their councillor, I am going to support them and take them to Elmswood and allocate them the land. What follows after that, I do not know. This council gave land for free to developers, why not give these poor people who paid the money stands?” Manyere fumed.
Ward 7 councillor, Dominic Matangira (MDC-T) called for a special full council meeting, where finance director John Kachingwe is expected to answer to questions over the stands deal.
“The people out there need their stands, but you are doing nothing about it. Where are they? Where is the money? Nothing is being done on the proposed land so far. You will give us excuses, saying it is raining, but the rains will soon be over. What will you say? Will you say it is winter, we will do it after winter?” Matangira asked.
During the full council meeting, it came out that the local authority used the money to pay salaries for workers.