The Bulawayo City Council has invited angry protests from a residents' group after reinstating two of its employees who had been summarily dismissed by management for stealing a Jojo tank.
Council's General Purposes Committee recently overturned a management resolution to expel the two employees who had stolen a Jojo tank from Kwezi training centre in the city's Pelandaba suburb.
In reaching the decision, the committee argued the sentence against the employees was harsh.
In overturning the verdict, the committee suggested a written warning was appropriate in the circumstances.
However, the move has invited protests from the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) which wrote recently to the local authority expressing its resentment over the decision.
"We are writing this letter to officially lodge our objection on how the General Purpose Committee handled the issue of the stolen Jojo Tank from Kwezi training centre by two council employees.
"While the value of the item stolen might appear insignificant, it is our view that this is a genuine case of integrity violation, collusive practice by two council employees designed to achieve an improper purpose," wrote the residents association's coordinator Emmanuel Ndlovu to the city's mayor Solomon Mguni in a letter dated May 7 2021.
Ndlovu called upon the city fathers to overturn the committee's decision to reinstate the two employees, arguing that the final verdict confirmed widespread views council was harbouring criminals.
"The adverse result of this action is that it upholds a widespread and general belief that the BCC is a corrupt organisation that is home to corrupt cartels.
"The decision by the GP is promoting an unacceptable value system wherein becomes the haven of people accused of looting, theft and corruption," further wrote Ndlovu.
The Jojo tank saga comes barely a few weeks after another council employee escaped with a written warning after allegedly misappropriating about 10 000 litres of diesel which was meant for road construction and other service delivery projects.
The fuel and Jojo tank scam also comes at a time when the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has launched a probe into allegations of corruption involving city fathers and senior management.