Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
Hamstrung Harare City Council has in the past three months spent a whopping $1,2 million on hotel expenses, travelling and out of pocket allowances, with an additional $432 000 already approved for forthcoming trips, The Herald can reveal.
The overall expenditure for the local and foreign trips stands at $1 653 720,20 for the period July to September.
Council’s penchant for extravagance has affected service delivery as the local authority is battling to provide key services, including potable water.
According to recent Human Resources and General Purposes Committee minutes, council authorised the $1,6 million for both local and foreign trips including the Urban Land Institute Fall meeting in Washington DC next week.
“That in terms of Clause 10.2 of council’s talent development policy His Worship the Mayor and town clerk referred to in Paragraph 5.1 and 5.2 of the confidential report (July 29, 2019) by the acting chamber secretary be and are hereby authorised to attend the Urban Land Institute Fall meeting organised by the Urban Land Institute Advisory services team to be held in Washington DC from September 18 to 21, 2019 at a total cost to council of US$20 261 in airfares, accommodation, out of pocket and entertainment allowances,” reads the minutes.
The city fathers are also sending a 24-member delegation to Bulawayo, splashing $270 000 on a mere Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe annual and general meeting.
“. . . annual general meeting to be held in Bulawayo from September 24 to 27, 2019 at a total cost to council of $270 680 in payable allowances and investment fees. That the acting finance director and is hereby authorised to pay the expenses outlined in resolutions one and two above,” read part of the minutes.
Zimbabwe Combined Residents and Ratepayers Association executive president Mr McStephen Nyabvure blasted council for abuse of funds.
“We have stated on numerous occasions that council has a tendency of hosting events outside its jurisdiction in order to squander ratepayers money, something that does not fit well with its limited resources.”
Community Water Alliance (CWA) Director Hardlife Mudzingwa said they wrote a letter to council yesterday to enquire on overall revenue inflows against expenditure between January to July 2019.