|A Jeep Cherokee|
Yesterday's The Zimbabwe Mail reported that Gweru City fathers have been accused of misappropriating almost $2 million in buying luxurious cars, flouting tender procedures and swindling revenue of the city’s flea markets for the past two years, the information having been revealed in a full council meeting held recently.
Documents seen by a journalist from the paper showed that the city directors, among them town clerk Daniel Matawu, lined their pockets using the city’s revenue.
Allegations are that some time last year the city fathers bought eight cars worth $ 240 000-00 using developmental funds instead of applying for a bank loan.
Matawu was supposed to get a Toyota Fortuner but instead opted for a more expensive Jeep Cherokee worth $130 000.
Finance and engineering directors also got D4Ds worth $73 000 each.
The city fathers also spent $516 000 on top-of-the-range cars for middle-level managers.
The directors are also said to have flouted tender procedures by awarding $500 000 traffic lights-deal to a Chinese mining company Zhang which has no electrical background.
The meeting also noted that the city had lost about $75 200 in rental-trader-fees as vendors at the city’s seven flea markets went for two years without paying.
Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi confirmed misappropriation of funds at the local authority saying the council had tasked Chief Internal Auditor and the management audit committees to look into the allegations.
“There are allegations of serious financial mismanagement in the town house by the city directors. We have already dispatched our audit committee team to further investigate these issues of financial mismanagement,” he said.
Chairperson of the audit committee Moses Marecha refused to shed light on the investigations.
“I am not in a position to comment on the issue as it is before full council. Contact the town clerk or mayor,” he said.
The Town Clerk Daniel Matawu admitted using developmental funds to buy cars.
“The procurement of vehicles was overdue especially on my part. I am actually supposed to be receiving a second vehicle,” Matawu said.
“I acknowledge that we did use the developmental funds instead of getting a bank loan. We were hoping to apply for a bank loan to replace the money,” he said.
On the issue of flea markets, he said an audit team had been engaged to look into the matter.