Masvingo Council Blows $700,000 On Hired Vehicles
Masvingo City Council has over the past 17 months spent nearly US$700 000 on hiring vehicles for senior managers and for day-to-day operations because its entire fleet was attached by the Messenger of Court in 2012. Forty-three council vehicles including the mayoral Mercedes-Benz, front-end loaders, tippers and other assets were attached after Masvingo City lost a court case against its workers over US$3,5 million in salaries outstanding since 2009.
Only critical assets like ambulances and computer servers in the billing and revenue collection department were spared. Council resorted to hiring vehicles for senior departmental managers and other key services such as refuse collection from CMED at a cost of US$40 000 per month.
This has left town clerk Mr Adolph Gusha and housing and community services director Mr Levison Nzvura as the only senior staff not using hired vehicles.
The mayor, Councillor Hubert Fidze, uses a CMED vehicle daily. Charges for using CMED vehicles are calculated against mileage. Sources yesterday said council was shelling out US$40 000 monthly on hiring vehicles while no real effort was being made to recover the vehicles attached by the Messenger of Court over 17 months ago.
“We think there are some officials who are benefiting from all this because there seems to be no interest at all from council to resolve the dispute and recover its cars,” alleged one of the sources.
Cllr Fidze confirmed that they were spending US$40 000 monthly on vehicle hire.
“We are actually pained that a lot of money continues to be paid every month to hire vehicles for our operations, yet we have our own fleet that is wasting away at the messenger of court. There is very little that we can do over the issue since the case is before the courts. We have to wait for the court process to take its course though this is a very worrisome issue to us,” he said. Herald