By Tonderai Saharo
MASVINGO: The Masvingo City Council has passed a resolution to purchase latest mobile phones worth a total $30 000 for its top managers and their deputies at a time the local authority is struggling to provide adequate service delivery to residents due to financial constraints.
The seven managers requested for Apple iPhone 7 worth $3 088 and deputy heads of departments requested for Samsung Galaxy s9 worth $2 708 as part of their conditions of service.
The request was adopted at a full council meeting held this past week.
Demands for mobile gadgets by the executives come on top of other hefty allowances that the executives are currently receiving from council.
They include school fees allowances for their children.
“The finance and general purposes committee resolved to recommend that the city treasurer be instructed to procure condition of service cell phones for management,” read minutes of the latest full council meeting.
However, the resolution has not amused a local lobby group, Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA) spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba who has called for its reversal.
He said council has a refuse collection crisis where garbage has not been collected in most residential areas for close to a month due to failure by council to acquire spare parts to repair broken down trucks.
Currently, the city is only relying on a single refuse truck to service the entire city and has decided to subcontract refuse collection services to private players.
“It’s unfortunate that management opts to be extravagant and splash huge amounts of money purchasing expensive luxury phones when service delivery is bleeding.
“We call upon the city fathers to revise and reverse that resolution and focus their attention on improving service delivery,” he said.
Recently, the city went dry for a month due to a broken down electrical pump at the city’s main pumping station and the financially hamstrung authority had to be rescued by a local abattoir which facilitated the replacement of the pump on a debt swap deal.