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Residents blast Kwekwe City Council for missed priorities as local authority spends fortune on luxury vehicles

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By Staff Reporter

Cash strapped Kwekwe City Council has come under fire from residents for misplaced priorities after it splashed thousands of dollars on top of the range vehicles for management at a time the local authority is struggling to provide services.

Speaking during a budget consultation meeting, residents demanded answers on why the local authority would purchase luxurious vehicles for management when there is poor service delivery in the town.

“During the course of the year, we were faced with twin devils of inflation and depreciation of the Zimbabwean dollar. Another challenge which we experienced is that residents are not paying their debts. As of September, only 27% of residents were paying their bills while the council is being owed $1,4 billion in rates,” Kwekwe City Council Finance Director Rejoice Dandira said during her presentation.

She explained the situation will result in council failing on service delivery.

“How then do you expect us to provide 100% service delivery when people are not paying for their bills? We rely on you for the bills. We are struggling to purchase water treatment chemicals because of poor revenue collection,” she said.

However, residents representatives came guns blazing on why council would prioritise the purchase of vehicles when the local authority was failing to collect revenue.

“We have heard your budget presentation and the successes which you made during the year under what you term was a difficult year. However, from your successes, I haven’t seen any item where you wrote  about vehicles which were purchased for management. Why was such an achievement skipped? Or maybe the vehicles were donated to the council?” a residents leader, Tuesday Moyo queried.

Another resident, Gainmore Kisimusi said the local authority was not being transparent in its operations.

“The fact that you have failed to mention such an issue of the purchase of vehicles for directors speaks to issues of lack of transparency in your operations. Why would you skip such an issue? This clearly shows that we are dealing with a case of misplaced priorities here. At the same time, I want to find out who purchased the vehicles,” queried Kisimusi.

Finance Chairperson Silas Mukaro said residents were the ones who bought the vehicles.

“When we employ management or council staff there is something called condition of service. Those vehicles are part of their condition of service. As residents, we are the ones who bought those vehicles for management. You elected us into office and we will be making decisions which are in the best interests of the residents. And when we make decisions, as residents we would all have made decisions. Therefore, as residents we are the ones who bought the vehicles,” said Mukaro to an uproar from the residents.