Harare prejudiced of $1,1 million

HARARE - Harare City Council has been prejudiced of $1,1 million over a five-month period through botched water treatment chemical tenders, a probe team set up by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo has revealed.

The team, headed by Ellen Chivaviro, said the local authority was losing money through contracts awarded to undeserving companies as officials seek to line their pockets.

“From our investigations we observed that councillors lack depth of what is required. They seem to be drowning. We also felt service delivery is not the driving force but it is more for personal benefit,” said Chivaviro.

“We did an analysis and found out the city council was prejudiced of $1,1 million from April to August this year through multiple tender awarding,” she said.

Chivaviro said council had failed to uphold the city financial regulations when making procurements.

According to the probe team, one tender was being divided among 10 suppliers who lack capacity, adding that prices charged by suppliers ranged from normal to absurd.

Chombo set up the probe team in September to investigate possible corruption and incompetence.

Harare, Chivaviro said, was losing a lot of revenue in unaccounted for billboards and car sale businesses.

“We discovered that out of the 200 car sales that are in Harare, revenue from only 47 is accounted for. We recommend that all illegal billboards be given a 48-hour notice before they are pulled down while car sales are given up to 31 December,” she said.

No meaningful revenue has been realised from the 14 000 council properties dotted across the city, the report stated.

The probe team recommended that the procurement team headed by MDC councillor Victor Chifodya be disbanded.

Chombo said he needed a week to study the report before acting.

“We will make sure those found on the wrong side of the law, be it officials or not, we will take appropriate action,” said Chombo.

Chifodya said his committee was not responsible for selecting suppliers.

“We only deal with already chosen companies. The actual selection is done by a tender adjudication team,” he said.

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