HURUNGWE Rural District Council (RDC) chief executive Luke Karavhina has come under fire for alleged abuse of power and undermining the authority of the councillors.
BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
Karavhina is also accused of violating procurement procedures and parcelling out land without consulting councillors.
He is alleged to have awarded hunting concessions to safari operators and Norton legislator Temba Mliswa in Nyaodza, Chirara and Rengwe areas without following tender procedures.
He is also alleged to have been given kickbacks to award the tenders without council knowledge.
Karavhina is also alleged to have parcelled 40 hectares of land to a Magunje businessman for construction of a school in a communal area without calling for or publishing a competitive tender, in violation of the Regional Town Planning Act and the Rural District Councils Act.
Council is yet to be paid for the land.
Councillors who spoke to NewsDay said Karavhina was becoming “too big for council” and making decisions without consulting councillors.
“We need action to be taken against him because he is making unilateral decisions for council and not respecting the councillors. That is not how we should be doing business,” an insider said yesterday.
Kavharina, however, dismissed the allegations as baseless, adding that he was guided by the law in the discharge of his duties.
“Allegations that I abused my powers are baseless. At Hurungwe RDC, we haven’t yet done any procurement this year, therefore, people cannot accuse me of violating any tender procedure. I make my decisions with the guidance of the law,” he said.
Hurungwe RDC chairperson councillor Badewell Chasara also defended Karavhina, saying he was yet to receive any formal complaint against him from anyone.
“At Hurungwe RDC, we follow all the proper procedures on the day-to-day running of the council,” Chasara said.
“If the CEO makes decision outside the council where necessary, as councillors, we get updates on that and we cannot challenge the government policy on ease of doing business which permits authorities to make decisions even before the full council meeting.”
Other councillors are crying foul over Circular 1 of 2017 from the Local Government ministry on the adoption of ease of doing business in rural local authorities that apparently stripped them of powers by allowing management to make unilaterally resolutions before consulting the full council.
The circular, signed by then permanent secretary George Magosvongwe on June 16, 2017, stated that local authorities should provide response to applications on various aspects within five working days.
This, councillors said, gave the council officials powers to pass decisions even before consulting them.