Deceitful transactions unearthed at Chitungwiza Municipality, as 13 councillors are cleared of graft allegations

Ever since the Madzudzo Pawadyira-led caretaker commission was appointed to run the affairs of Chitungwiza by the Ministry of Local Government in May 2017, a lot of surprising decisions have been made, unfortunately, negatively affecting the municipality and the residents in general. Subsequent to the suspension of the entire councillors, a tribunal and a rapid intervention team (RIT) were established to determine the fate of the suspended councillors and resuscitate council operations respectively. Barely 12 months after that, strange staff appointments have been made at the town house. Part of the members of both the tribunal and the RIT are now fully employed by the same local authority which those members were recently appointed to save from collapsing. Four members of the tribunal and the RIT are conflicted as they are now serving both the tribunal and employed as district officers. Mr Tendai Chinganga is now a town manager at Seke South while still serving as the secretary of the tribunal. Messrs Joshua Mutembedzi, Alex Mukwewa and Morris Tekwa have also joined the allegedly struggling local authority from the Local Government ministry as district managers.

The level of confusion and duplication at the municipality is worrisome and not found only in the administrative arm of council. At the policy making level, after the clearance of the majority of councillors and with the caretaker commission still in place, it is not clear who is now suppose to be calling the shots at the council. The biggest losers in this matrix are the general residents. No wonder at the moment there are two private debt collection firms engaged by the same council. Mangwana and Partners Debt Collectors are still engaged claiming that they are finalising some files that they had initiated while a new firm, Wellcash Debt Collectors started working last week.

The Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association (CAMERA) notes with utmost disgust the continued deterioration of the quality of service delivery in Chitungwiza even after the secondment of a caretaker commission, tribunal and an RIT under the guise of saving the town from total disintegration. CAMERA reckons that the council might be facing over-bearing administrative costs; however, such burdens must not be transferred to citizens unreasonably. The cleared councillors are in line to receive their outstanding allowances while the three commissioners continue to milk the same municipality in allowances. CAMERA implores the Ministry to urgently intervene and serve the residents of Chitungwiza, who instead of witnessing an improvement in service delivery; priority is being given to administration and employment expenses.

Source: Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association (CAMERA)