Zimbabwe: Council Wants ZACC Probe for Employee

13 November 2019

Harare City Council's Audit Committee wants to bring in the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate council employee, Calvin Chigariro, whose bungling in a skip truck tender in 2017 prejudiced the local authority US$343 048, and that in any case disciplinary action be taken against him.

Council took delivery of 10 single skip trucks from FAW Zimbabwe instead of double skip trucks as stipulated by the tender, after Chigariro failed to carry out a pre-delivery inspection as prescribed by the Memorandum of Agreement.

This came out after investigations carried out by audit manager Mr Archibald Nyamurova at the request of the Environmental Management Committee.

"The committee was advised that the then acting chief engineer had failed to protect council's interest in this regard, hence there was dereliction of duty on his part," read recent minutes of the audit committee.

"Pre-works done at the council workshops had identified defects on nine out of the 10 skip trucks and council was prejudiced R5 190 000 and it was noted that there were no delivery notes for these skip trucks."

The minutes noted that there were several anomalies discovered relating to the specifications of the trucks.

"Council wanted automatic vehicles, but FAW delivered manual ones. Council needed ABS braking system, but the company supplied none among other specifications," read the report.

Payment for the delivered skip bins was made directly to the company upon written authorisation by the finance director using a $30 million loan facility for the purchase of plant and equipment.

The audit committee also recommended that the acting chamber secretary sue FAW for breach of contract and that it pays back the R5,1 million.

In an interview, town clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango said the city had already put in place a procurement management unit to avoid such mistakes.

"You should understand that when this incident took place, council had not yet established a procurement management unit," he said.

"Then we used to have engineers and supply chain on the other side and were not adhering to the procurement policies. Whenever something is not done properly, we investigate and take action."

Harare Residents Trust director Mr Precious Shumba said lack of transparency continued to cost the local authority.

"The HRT has consistently demanded transparency in the use of public resources and the officials must always be held accountable for their actions," he said.

"The councillors and the officials who were involved in the purchase of the skip trucks should be punished for their connivance to deprive council of its proper refuse equipment."

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