Blessings Chidakwa Municipality Correspondent
RAMPANT corruption, failure to collect revenue and maladministration within Harare municipality is costing council millions in potential revenue on a monthly basis, Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba has said.
Employees are said to be receiving kick-backs from council debtors, depriving the city of possible revenue inflows, with the city officials admitting failure to hold them accountable.
The corruption allegations are so grave to the extent that recently the local authority referred to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) cases of suppliers and council workers involved in scams on overpayment, fake quotations and quotations with common authorship, among other underhand methods used in fleecing the city of millions.
Clr Gomba yesterday told The Herald that he remained concerned with the way decisions were being made at Town House, which was proving costly in terms of time and revenue.
“Since my assumption of office, I have discovered that council has opportunities to expand its revenue base, but it requires dedication and timeous decisions being made in a manner that is quite mindful of the economic environment we are living in,” he said.
“I have since discovered that the environmental health section of council does not have an automated list of properties they must license, costing council a lot of revenue. They do guess work and in most cases they do not go to inspect shopping areas such as Machipisa and Newlands, among others.”
Clr Gomba called for a change of mindset among water meter readers.
“As much as Council of Harare has meter readers, they do not engage residents who owe council a lot when distributing bills,” he said. “In most cases they throw the bills over durawalls. We need to transform that mindset.”
Clr Gomba said district offices were being underutilised as the officials were failing to engage with non-paying residents and do follow-ups on payment of revenue.
“Market officers were failing to collect from Glen View Area 8 and Machipisa, and in most cases are corruptly getting kickbacks,” he said. “These are issues we must stop, I hold the leadership of council accountable in as far as stopping these illegalities is concerned.”