MP, council clash over road funds

MUTARE - Legislator for Dangamvura-Chikanga Isau Mupfumi has lambasted Mutare City Council for exhausting a $1,8 million Zinara emergency road fund allocation without completing the scheduled road repairs and upgrades.

Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Joram Gumbo had innocently applauded the local authority for having exhausted its allocation to the last cent raising the ire of Mupfumi.

The legislator accused the Mutare City Council of profligacy.

“We only have one head, the Town Clerk Joshua Maligwa, the rest are rotten…we bring politics to council,” Mupfumi said as he also questioned the role of councillors in council work.

He claimed that the local authority was losing substantial amounts to casual labour costs and called on the minister of State Monica Mutsvangwa to call all relevant stakeholders to a roundtable discussion.

“Resident minister, the mayor is OK as he sits there but once he is among his councillors it’s done… we need to sit down with them and map the way forward or we can talk here and nothing will change,” Mupfumi said.

In a report submitted to the minister, council said while the allocated funds for phase one were exhausted “the state of roads had further deteriorated than what had been estimated during condition road survey.”

The report, however, claims that indeed under the emergency works phase two under which current work was supposed to have been completed, Zinara had not released over $1.3 million.

Of a budgeted $1 552 410.26 council only received $312 350 leaving an outstanding amount of $1 301 460.

The work was supposed to cover 13,8 kilometres in resealing 4km of Aerodrome road, 0,85km Herbert Chitepo and 1,1km Second Street; reconstruct 1,5km of Magamba Drive, upgrading 3,8km of Jeff Road to  tarred road and upgrading 2,5km of Blessing Makunike Drive to tarred road.

Only 40 percent of the work was done before the construction stopped at the end of November as Forit Contracting which was awarded the contract withdrew its manpower due to non-payment.

“Works will continue as soon as payments are released,” the report says.

Council is, however, imploring Zinara to release the remaining amount without affecting the 2018 budget.

“It is our submission that we get the outstanding amount of $989 110 to complete the projects,” the report said.