CHIREDZI Town Council is reportedly being defrauded of thousands of dollars by employees through underhand dealings, a source has revealed.
BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA
According to a source close to the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, two years ago council allegedly bought drums of tar for a road project carried out by Tensor Systems in the town’s low-density area.
Ten drums that were left after Tensor completed the project were kept in the warehouse. When council decided to patch up potholes around the town this year, the stores and engineering departments allegedly persuaded the procurement committee, chaired by town secretary Charles Muchatukwa, to buy the tar which they said belonged to Tensor.
The money for the tar was allegedly transferred into private accounts resulting in council losing money in the process.
In another case Tensor is alleged to have received $50 000 as advance payment from council to enable them to commence the construction of a 2,4km West Road when, in fact, the money was supposed to come from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration.
“The issue of 10 drums is just a tip of an iceberg. A lot has been happening, where council is made to buy its own goods.
“Right now, there are three drums in the warehouse, which were left by Clime Construction when they surfaced part of Lion Drive three years ago. Chances are high that council is going to buy them again. I do not know if the procurement committee is not aware of the scam or they share the proceeds.
“We are not sure if the $50 000 was paid to Tensor or it is just a way of siphoning council funds, because the whole thing does not add up,” said the source
Council chairperson referred all questions to the town secretary, saying he was not aware of the issue.
“You can get hold of the town secretary. I am not aware of such things,” Gibson Hwende said.
Contacted for comment, the stores manager James Sithole referred questions to the town engineer, Wesley Kauma.
“Who told you such information? I am away right now. Why don’t you ask the town engineer?” Sithole said.
Council road supervisor Derek Chisayino laughed at the allegations concerning his company and said he was not aware of the whole thing.
“I don’t understand it. How can council buy its own tar?” laughed Chisayino.
Town secretary Charles Muchatukwa could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone went unanswered and he did not respond to questions texted to him.
United Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (UCHIRRA) secretary Benard Dachi called for an urgent audit by external auditors.
“We are urging that an urgent audit be carried out to get to the bottom of the matter.
“We cannot allow such leakages to go unabated because our council is already cash-strapped and is failing to meet some of its financial obligations,” Dachi said.