COUNCILLORS from the cash-strapped Gokwe Town are reported to have used up to US$3 000 to travel to Harare to view vehicles purchased by the local authority, a move which has left council employees and residents fuming.
The five councillors including the town’s chairperson Never Gwanzura last month travelled to Harare to inspect some used vehicles the local authority had purchased.
They were paid a total of US$3 000 as allowances.
However, council workers and residents feel the trip to Harare was unnecessary as the procurement could have done the work at no cost.
Gwanzura, however, defended the Harare trip claiming it was necessary as the councillors were “exercising due diligence”.
“If the procurement department finishes their work of buying equipment, it’s up to us as a council to go and view our equipment,” he said.
Gwanzura added the local council also did not want a repeat of 2010 when it purchased a vehicle that was never delivered.
“This is not a profligate move, but it’s only an exercise in due diligence. We want to avoid a repeat of 2010 when we bought a vehicle, an MP 300 and the vehicle was never delivered up to now.”
“We travelled to Harare as councillors so that we would view the vehicles we purchased. These travels are budgeted for and even when officials come here from the ministry of local government, we use council funds,” he said.
Gokwe Town has five MDC Alliance councillors, Gwanzura, Machinda Mtembedzi, Darlington Mudondo, Tichaona Muhora, Charity Mungwani, and one Zanu PF councillor Davis Taruvinga.
However, Taruvinga declined to join the MDC Alliance councillors’ travel party.
Earlier this year, the Gokwe Town secretary Melania Mandeya and the finance director Joconia Nyoni were arrested and subsequently suspended over corruption charges.