Council spending $100,00 a month on car hire

The cash-strapped Masvingo city council is reportedly spending at least $100,000 a month hiring top of the range vehicles for its managers from the central mechanical equipment department (CMED), plunging the local authority further into serious financial problems.

The council last year resolved to hire vehicles from the CMED for top managers and the mayor amid an outcry from the workers.

The move follows the seizure of some of the local authority’s vehicles by the Messenger of Court last year following a salary dispute between the council and its entire workforce, involving an estimated $4m dating back to 2008. Most of the vehicles seized by the Messenger of Court are those of top managers and include the mayoral Mercedes Benz.

Masvingo mayor Hubert Fidze told The Zimbabwean this week that the local authority had resolved to hire vehicles to ensure a smooth flow of business at the Masvingo civic centre.

“Those vehicles belong to the CMED and we have agreed to hire those cars to ensure that council work is not disrupted,” said Fidze.

However, the mayor could not be drawn into revealing the amount involved in hiring the cars and referred all questions regarding the money involved to the council treasury department.

No official comment could be obtained from the city’s treasury department as officials from the department said they needed time to verify the figures.

A highly placed source within the council said that the local authority was making money transfers to the tune of $25,000 a week to the CMED.

“What is surprising is that most of the vehicles are parked at the civic centre, doing nothing,” said a disgruntled worker.

“The top managers are just using these vehicles to go for lunch and then come back and park the cars. They also use the cars during weekends since their vehicles were seized.”

The move by the council has riled workers who feel that the money should have been used to repay the outstanding debt.

“As workers, we are very unhappy because the money should have been used to pay outstanding salaries,” said a member of the Masvingo city council workers’ committee.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *