URBAN Councils’ Association of Zimbabwe (UCAZ) president, Bernard Manyenyeni, has defended the recent mix-up which saw Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo taking delivery of two mayoral vehicles within a space of three months.
by XOLISANI NCUBE
Moyo recently caused a storm, with residents accusing him of double dipping, after receiving a $118 000 Mercedes Benz GLE 250, hardly three months after council had bought him a Chevrolet Trailblazer. But, Manyenyeni, who doubles, as Harare mayor, yesterday said there was nothing amiss in the two acquisitions as both vehicles belonged to the local authority.
NewsDay has gathered that Bulawayo City Council initially placed an order for the Chevrolet, while awaiting government approval to purchase the Mercedes Benz. However, the Mercedes Benz was delivered earlier, leading to the alleged double dipping.
Residents questioned the logic of buying two vehicles with a total value of $150 000 for the mayor at a time the local authority has decommissioned seven of its refuse compactors due to various defects, leaving only 10 to do the same function.
“While we understand the importance of service delivery in our local authorities, some of these things ought to be understood from a position of knowledge. None of the vehicles belong to the mayor in his personal capacity, but will always remain city property,” Manyenyeni said.
The UCAZ president said residents should raise similar concerns against Cabinet ministers who, besides getting top-of-the-range Mercedes Benz cars, are also allocated off-road Land Cruisers each, which they then buy at book value at the end of their ministerial duties.
“Mayors leave the vehicles to councils, but ministers are given an option to buy the cars. That should be the concern of residents, who are footing the bills for the luxurious lifestyles enjoyed by ministers,” Manyenyeni said.