Mupfumi blasts 'corrupt' council

HARARE - Zanu PF MP Esau Mupfumi has accused the Mutare City Council (MCC) of engaging in rampant corruption that has seen thousands of dollars being looted from its coffers.

Addressing a rally in Dangamvura last Friday, the Dangamvura-Chikanga legislator claimed MCC lost an unspecified amount of money as unnamed council officials have been withdrawing money to fund construction of a non-existent primary school.

“There is a ground allocated for the construction of a school in Hob House which has been budgeted at over $400 000. Interestingly, money has been going out towards the building of the school, which documents claim some structures are at roof level but the ground is still plain as we speak,” Mupfumi told a bemused crowd.

He said at a time the council is chasing vendors and disconnecting water supplies to defaulting residents, the municipality was busy looting its coffers.

“Some people are so shameless. They are busy looting while giving the impression that they are working by arresting residents and denying them services due to arrears,” the legislator said.

“I’m a person who doesn’t like corruption and you will read shocking news in the papers in the next few days. Some people you would never have suspected to be thieves are going to be exposed as big thieves,” Mupfumi said.

Mutare town clerk Joshua Maligwa, who is less than three months into the job, said: “I can neither confirm nor deny that there is rampant corruption, but I’m conducting my own investigations.”

He said he is yet to make a physical visit to school sites to verify the claim.

Recently, council introduced an education levy to fund the construction of schools across the city.

Mupfumi also alleged that the municipality was also prejudiced of huge amounts through fraudulent tender processes and corrupt activities in which council employees doubled as service providers and projects supervisors after awarding themselves tenders through briefcase companies.

“You can imagine using a council vehicle to provide something after changing its number plates and then sending an invoice to get paid for that service,” Mupfumi alleged.

This comes after Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere last year released a damning audit report which exposed rampant corruption that saw the town clerk Obert Muzawazi resign, with some senior managers being suspended.

Kasukuwere came short of sacking the entire council management but said he was giving them a second chance.

In the report, senior council managers were accused of going on holiday while 1 500 workers had not been paid for months and at a time ratepayers were not accessing basic services.

The minister lambasted council management for lack of innovation, saying it was also failing to recover at least $30 million owed by residents in service charges.

“From the findings, it has come to our attention that there is some extravagance on the use of resources here where the top brass in council go on overseas holidays at council’s cost, their children learn out of the country at expensive schools and they enjoy vehicle loan facilities. This should not be the case. It has to stop,” Mupfumi said.

Meanwhile, MCC housing director Stenard Mapurisa has tendered his resignation after the probe.

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