Councillors accused of holding costly workshops without approval

Phillipa Jaja

Harare residents have accused their councillors of draining the city coffers dry by holding expensive unsanctioned workshops on unmerited basis.

Council managers are allegedly living luxurious by conniving with some outgoing councillors to hold unproductive workshops outside Harare while underpaying council workers.

According to the distressed residents, this act has intensified Harare city council’s shoddy and non-existent municipal services.

In a statement by Harare Residents Trust (HRT) director, Precious Shumba expressed disgruntlement with the council managers’ conduct while prejudicing council workers.

“The Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) is both disturbed and shocked at the level of carelessness in spending ratepayers’ money by the council managers who are conniving with the outgoing councillors to hold unproductive workshops consecutively outside Harare.

“Even the council has not been able to pay salaries and benefits to their nearly 10 000 workers due to reported financial constraints. Yet they have not withheld their insatiable appetite for extravagance using ratepayers’ funds.”

Service delivery has collapsed in the capital resulting in fruitless repeated calls to ramp it up.

HRT says uncollected garbage, worsening water supplies and workers’ unpaid salaries are evidence of such.

However the councillors’ conduct is not mirroring such.

“Informed officials and councillors say that each councillor receives 100 litres one way to Victoria Falls, making a total of 200 litres to each of them despite the fact that most of them travel in one vehicle in groups of five or six depending on the size of the vehicle.

“On top of that each councillor is given money equivalent to US$60 for use of their vehicles even when they have not used their vehicles for the trip. At the workshops, the councillors reportedly do not participate in the meetings as most of them would simply come in to register on the attendance registers in the morning before disappearing to go and do their private businesses, while claiming to be on council business.”

HRT recommends that town House needs a total overhaul because of the costly misgovernance.

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