Council defrauded of thousands

A private company, Basequip, contracted by the local authority here to repair burst sewer pipes only managed to do 40 percent of the job and allegedly defrauded the council of thousands of dollars.

According to a recent council report, after realising that the Ministry of Finance had directed that monies for materials would be paid by the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, Basequip allegedly provided a false bank account, withdrew the deposited $100 000 and accounted for only $30 000.

“The contract documentation was heavily tampered with and after discovering that Basequip was not the right company for the job, its contract was terminated through a council resolution. Council is withholding payment for the work done by Basequip while considering handing the suspected fraud case to the police for investigation,” reads the report.

The report also reveals that council defied advice from Consulting Engineers that Basequip was not the best company for the job. Town Clerk, Josiah Musuwo, informed the Permanent Secretary that he had advised the council not to contract Basequip. With the contract terminated, raw sewerage continued to flow freely in some parts of the town, posing a serious health hazard to residents.

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