Lovemore Zigara, Midlands Correspondent
The Government will investigate Gweru City Council to expose dozens of employees who allegedly prejudiced the municipality through false medical aid claims of up to $100 000 per person per month.
A preliminary forensic audit unearthed serious abuse of the council’s lax systems which saw unscrupulous employees making false medical claims from the local authority using fake receipts.
Council has since enlisted the services of Fidelity Life, a medical aid service provider where all council employees will contribute, to plug the loopholes.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Cde Saviour Kasukuwere said workers who illegally benefited would face disciplinary action.
“We now have a consolidated medical aid scheme for employees thereby ending fraudulent direct payment system for endless dependants with no limits amounting to up to $100 000 a month. We are looking forward to a forensic audit of the former system so that those employees who used the medical aid system for personal profit can be exposed and dealt with.”
Cde Kasukuwere expressed satisfaction with the work which has been done by the outgoing commission which he said managed to restore corporate governance systems.
“Corporate governance is the basis upon which the council operates. I’m happy to report the restoration of systems in the city of Gweru. Some of the terms of reference that I gave the commission was the restoration of systems including the stopping of revenue leakages, extravagant spending, the prevention of double dipping and disciplining of wayward staff,” he said.
“The human resources department of Gweru has been problematic with an old fashioned and bloated staff structure. The coming in of the commission has seen the rationalisation of salaries in line with the 2014 Cabinet directive.”
Cde Kasukuwere’s sentiments follow the firing of former mayor Mr Hamutendi Kombayi and former ward 9 Councillor Mr Kenneth Sithole after the duo were found guilty of corruption and mismanagement.
Seven other MDC councillors were also found guilty but were extended an olive branch and will return to town house together with three Zanu-PF councillors who were cleared of wrong doing.