Gweru council pays $143 000 to three firms for same job
Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
GWERU City Council (GCC) allegedly paid over $143 000 to three different companies for doing the same job on acting town clerk Mr Vakai Douglas Chikwekwe’s vehicle.
First to be paid $11 341,00 on May 14 was Neat Panel beaters.
According to documents in possession of this publication, Neat Panel beaters was allegedly paid for fixing the rear fog lamp, and repair of rear bumper under reference number 01OISTC20135001.
On June 5, Jorem Panel beaters was allegedly paid $13 035,00 fixing the same rear bumper under reference number 010ISTC201570507.
Lastly, Hitco Engineering was allegedly paid $118 630,00 on August 8 for fixing the same bumper, grille, rear bumper lamps.
Other jobs done included spare wheel cover and attending to air conditioning.
Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe said council was looking into the matter since it was not possible that a rear bumper of one vehicle could be fixed at the same time by three different companies.
Clr Makombe said management runs the daily business and councillors are not aware of some of the issues.
“We have a situation where as councillors we might not be aware of the daily occurrences at the town house. This is one of the cases and we are looking into it,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Mr Chikwekwe said council had engaged debt collectors to recover the money.
He said the payments were made to the three companies when one had done the job.
Mr Chikwekwe said there was some form of miscommunication between departments leading to the payment to two other companies which had not done the job.
“Truth of the matter is one company did the job and was paid and it is the last company (Hitco Engineering). We first engaged Neat Panel beaters who failed and then Jorem Panel beaters and the two failed to deliver. They blamed Covid-19 for failing to deliver the job and we then went to Hitco Engineering who managed to deliver on the job done,” he said.
Mr Chikwekwe said after Hitco Engineering delivered, council then had to pay the company.
“The other two were not supposed to be paid at all but we have since engaged our debt collection unit to get our money back,” he said.
GCC has been in the media for wrong reasons mainly to do with corruption and poor management by management and councillors.
President Mnangagwa has since castigated urban councils for engaging in corrupt activities which in turn choke service delivery.
Urban councils, he said, are marred with corruption and Government will leave no stone unturned to bring about discipline, accountability and transparency in these institutions.
President Mnangagwa said no one is above the law adding that the law will take its course on all who transgress.
Recently, Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Larry Mavima said corruption was rampant at Gokwe South Council and Gweru City Council.
He said they were working with the Ministry of Local Government to bring order to the councils so that service delivery is not affected.
“In the Midlands province we have two councils Gokwe South Council and Gweru City Council where there is rampant corruption that is affecting service delivery. We are therefore working on restoring order and discipline at the two councils,” he said.