Bulawayo City Council exposed

By Owen Mandovha

THE Bulawayo City Council has been exposed for operating outside the laid down policies and procedures.

Top officials from the Bulawayo City Council who just this week, caught the ire of ratepayers by authorising a United States Dollar denominated rates and fees structure, were this Friday hauled before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts.

This comes after the 2019 Auditor General’s Report flagged the council for shambolic financial accounts, exposing the absence of any laid down policies and procedures in recording revenue and expenditure.

In one case, Bulawayo City Council Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube admitted that they have no asset register for the number and value of vehicles they own.

He also disclosed that the local authority does not have a record of the value of the city hall and key infrastructure.

“The Council at times does not record the assets especially the vehicles and this includes the City Hall which is not valued at all despite the fact that we collect revenue from its use. There is also no policy to record the council’s dams and roads infrastructure,” he said.

Having worked for the Bulawayo City council for 40 years, Finance Director Kimpton Ndimande’s efficiency was questioned given that his office is failing to put in place watertight financial systems to plug leakages.

I am the Finance Director and became i have been a council employee since 1982 . Our plan is to adopt the IPSUS accounting system, which we are confident will cater for some of these shortcomings cited by the Auditor General,” said Ndimande.

In one instance, the Bulawayo City Council received close to US$1,8 000 000 in donations for its clinics and this was never recorded in the system. 

Service delivery has deteriorated to alarming levels in most urban councils and the Bulawayo City Council case has just proved that ratepayers are at the mercy of ineffectiveness and embezzlement of funds meant for service delivery.