Gweru councillors, management clash over trips

Gweru Council Managent emblem

GWERU councillors last week clashed with council management after they were barred from travelling outside the Midlands capital on business.

Councillors were not amused after acting town clerk Vakai Chikwekwe told them that they needed clearance from the Local Government ministry whenever they travel out of the city.

The councillors, led by mayor Hamutendi Kombayi, described the move as discriminatory.

“Why is it that difficult when councillors want to travel out of the city on council business?” Kombayi queried during a full council meeting last week.

“Very soon management would also ban such travels.

If that is the case, let us all not travel and confine ourselves to Town House.”

The issue arose after finance committee chairperson Martin Chivhoko suggested that members of his committee should travel to Bulawayo to learn how the city was managing its foreign currency billing system.

Chivhoko said Gweru could improve its forex revenue collection after learning from Bulawayo which had successfully implemented the programme.

Councillors also argued that learning tours were common as some local authorities visited Gweru to take a leaf from the way the refurbishment of Kudzanai Bus Terminus was

“We recently had a team from Harare which came here and toured our refurbished market stalls and bays at Kudzanai,” ward 11 councillor Albert Chirau said.

But Chikwekwe said he risked losing his job if he did not follow procedure.

“I will be fired if I don’t follow laid down procedures,” he said.

Over the years, council officials have been accused of gobbling thousands of dollars in travel allowances.

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