Parly grills Shurugwi town council over graft

By Tafara Chikumira

THE Shurugwi Town Council has failed to provide tender documentation for two vehicles procured for senior administrators, amid corruption and criminal abuse of office allegations.

The council reportedly procured two Ford Rangers for around US$80 000 in a case that has been flagged by the Auditor General in a 2019 report.

The council, which has allegedly dodged virtual meetings organised by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts for a record four times, finally made time for the legislators this Thursday after they made a call at their offices.

The parliamentarians were riled by the authorities for failing to avail the necessary tender documentation on the procurement of the two vehicles for senior administrators who were manning the town house at the time of purchase.

“All we are asking for is proof of your tender. You are not taking the auditor general’s report seriously as should be the case. We are here because we have noted some irregularities pertaining to the way you procured these vehicles.

“As Parliament, our role is that of an oversight where we seek accountability on tax payers’ money. We want to make this town great and it involves your participation,” said legislator, Honourable Dexter Nduna.

“Your problem is to assume that we came here to play games. We gave you ample time to avail the necessary documentation with regards to the purchase of the said vehicles. You want to play with Parliament at the rate payers’ peril. We will not accept your approach at all as it speaks volumes to your incompetence and corrupt activities,” said Honourable Temba Mliswa.

Shurugwi Town Council Finance Director, Charles Tawonezvi said some of the documents were missing.

“We have misplaced some of the documents you are asking for. We are asking for some time to fetch them. One of the key missing documents is of course the advert for the tender, which we posted in the local newspaper. All we are saying is that give us some more time to locate these documents,” he said.

The Shurugwi Town Council has since disbursed the two vehicles under dispute to the Finance Director and the former Town Secretary as their personal issue properties after the expiry of their five year term.

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts has recommended that the vehicles be returned to the council offices as exhibit until the matter has been finalised by the courts of law.