News Column

City Fathers Grilled Over Vehicles

July 3, 2014

Zvamaida Murwira



Parliamentarians on Tuesday grilled Harare city fathers over the purchase of 21 vehicles for senior management using part of the US$144 million Chinese loan meant for water and sewage reticulation.

There are indications that 35 additional utility trucks will be bought.

Members of the Portfolio committee on Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry chaired by Midlands legislator, Cde Anastancia Ndlovu (zanu-pf), asked council management led by acting Town Clerk, Mrs Josephine Ncube to furnish the committee with the cost of the vehicles to establish if there was no possible prejudice.

Chikomba Central MP, Cde Felix Mhona (zanu-pf), asked if council had gone to tender for the supply of the vehicles as required under the code on good corporate governance for state enterprises.

"If you had gone to tender you were going to get the best price. We want to know if you went through tender. These are public funds and you seem to be ducking that question," said Cde Mhona.

Cde Mhona said in his view, buying a Range Rover could not be described as being modest as intimated by council officials.

In her response, Mrs Ncube the council's decision was consistent with the terms of the loan agreement.

"The alleged abuse is coming from the misunderstanding where there is a view that all the money is for the purchase of the upgrading plant," said Mrs Ncube, the council chamber secretary.

Mrs Ncube said 35 additional utility trucks would soon be bought for use in the implementation of the project. These would be used as pool cars.

She said the agreement did not provide for the purchase of such vehicles from companies that were on the European Union sanctions list.

"We are not buying expensive equipment. We were looking at quality and price.

"It should be the lowest price but of the highest quality," she said. Turning to the upgrade of the plant, Mrs Ncube said 80 percent of the four million people in the Harare catchment would receive water but cautioned that water demand management would continue.


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Source: AllAfrica


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