Council to pay probe team

Cde Kasukuwere

Cde Kasukuwere

Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
Harare City Council is set to pay $30 000 to a probe team which investigated the $13,8 million sewage deal to rehabilitate Firle Sewage Works.

The investigative team comprised of four councillors and three external experts — an engineer, a lawyer and an accountant.

Last month, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, told Mayor Clr Bernard Manyenyeni not to pay councillors who were part of the team.

He said councillors could not be paid for conducting council business.

The city’s Finance and Development Committee resolved that external experts should be paid $6 000 each, while the four councillors who participated in the investigations be paid $3 000 each.

Clr Manyenyeni said the outsiders were being paid first, while council seeks ministerial clearance for the payment of councillors.

“For governance considerations, all payments due or payable to councillors cannot be determined by councillors themselves.

“The issue is that this was additional work beyond the normal councillor function, hence the need for approval,” he said.

Council awarded a contract to a local company, Energy Resources Africa Consortium (ERAC), for the rehabilitation of Firle Sewage Works before the company was formally registered.

It paid the company millions of dollars, even though it had not signed a contract.

The city then set up a seven-member team to probe the deal.

After presenting the report, Clr Manyenyeni wrote to Minister Kasukuwere seeking guidance on the matter.

“A response was then reviewed wherein the minister had expressed that since councillors were conducting council business, there was no need for them to get paid for participating in the investigations,” read the minutes of the Finance and Development Committee.

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