….council to pay municipal sport uniforms using land sale proceeds
….fight over who is to ask money from politicians
There is a discord between the Municipality of Marondera’s Councillors and management over the collection and use of money realised from land sales especially the recently unveiled Ruzawi stands.
The Councillors are reportedly accusing management of failing to collect the money in deposits arguing that it has since been affected by hyperinflation as most land beneficiaries are yet to pay.
Among the stands beneficiaries who owe council are both Zanu PF and MDC politicians.
Moreover, it is alleged that despite beneficiaries having satisfied the selection committee with loaded bank accounts during the interview process, it has turned out to be a challenge for council to secure the deposit moneys.
According to the latest full council minutes, Council has since ordered Mayor Chengetai Murowa to engage some politicians who are failing to pay the deposit moneys.
However, the councillors refused and tasked the Finance Director to make follow ups.
Open Council Marondera is in possession of minutes on deliberations by both management and councillors and below are the excerpts as they are from the full council minutes document of June 4, 2020.
1.The Finance Director said reconciliations of land sales were continuous since payments were still being made.
He said $3,798,110 had been raised from payments for 30 stands. Cllr Jimmy Jalifu said the reason interviews had been conducted was to check if the interviewees met conditions and asked why deposits of the land sales had overlapped the time-frame stipulated for payments.
The Director of Housing Services answered saying council had effected some repossessions and a grace period to pay up to 22 May 2020 to those who have made significant deposits. He emphasized that all interviews were done without prejudice or favour but said although proof of payment had been noted challenges were on what transpired after the interviews.
He suggested the Mayor make follow ups through his office and engage some politicians who had not made any payments. Councillors Mubaiwa Dzvuke , Misheck Manyere and Jimmy Jalifu were of the opinion that no exemptions be made in line with the status quo of the interviews as this set a bad precedence.
- The Finance Director said it was imperative that separation of duties be observed to avoid confusion. He recommended that since Housing allocated, Finance make follow ups in accordance with what was stated in the allocation letters. Councillor J.Mujaranji stressed the need for careful handling of the modalities of follow ups in regards to senior officials and the due date of 22 May 2020 be considered cautiously as it could be a political time bomb. Councillor Bornface Tagwireyi (deputy mayor) maintained that sensitive issues be followed up by the Finance Director and Director of Housing and Community Services.
- Councillor B. Tagwirei pointed out that he had observed that the funds raised from the land sales were being eroded by inflation with Council not benefitting when the time came to utilise them.The Finance Director said all the funds raised had projects that they had to be utilised on save for specific approved short term borrowings.
The Finance Director presented three requests submitted by the Acting Town Clerk for the Finance committee to use funds raised from the land sales:
- Council payroll for May 2020 since Council had lost about 50% of its revenue due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
- Zinwa to be paid its legacy debt attributed to the Elmswood Project swap that did not materialise due to technical challenges. The payment will enable the handover of the Wenimbi project to Council.
- To pay off the debt in full including legal costs due to Le Beste Sportswear who provided Council with sporting gear for InterMunicipal games held in November 2019.