Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
GWERU town clerk, Daniel Matawu, has been suspended two days after Local Government Public Works and National Housing Minister Cde Saviour Kasukuwere instructed the commission running the local authority’s affairs to dismiss all people facing corruption and misappropriation of funds charges.
The Tsunga Mhangami-led commission responded swiftly and suspended Matawu who is accused of presiding over rampant corruption in the city.
Mhangami said yesterday: “We’ve suspended the town clerk Daniel Matawu pending investigations into the alleged misappropriation of council funds and corruption.”
A government audit that was conducted by the Local Government Ministry between July 3 and July 15 last year exposed massive rot in Gweru.
Mhangami said anyone implicated in the audit report would be suspended to pave way for investigations.
“We want to investigate these allegations without undue interference from the involved parties.
“As the commission we were tasked to investigate allegations of corruption levelled against people in management and we have started that process,” he said.
Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Cde Jason Machaya, said Matawu’s suspension was a process aimed at cleansing the local authority.
He said Cde Kasukuwere had set the ball rolling by instructing the commission to suspend people implicated in the audit report.
“It’s a process which will result in some in top management being fired. Matawu was the driver of the local authority and there’re problems bedevilling it which need to be resolved to bring sanity,” said Machaya.
Cde Kasukuwere said Wednesday the commission should as a matter of urgency wield the axe on all directors that had been implicated in the audit report for fraud, embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, wasteful expenditure, non-compliance with ministerial directives, non-compliance with statutory laws and failing to manage council’s assets.
Cde Kasukuwere said there were also under qualified managers at the local authority whom he said had no capacity to hold such offices and positions who should be shown the door.
He said such managers should be relieved of their duties and must be replaced by those that have the capacity.
Minister Kasukuwere said there should be no sacred cows.
He said the main thrust for the local authority should be service delivery and not unnecessary expenditure by either council or management.