Courtney Matende Midlands Reporter
Two City of Gweru employees have been suspended for allegedly offering their services to private land developers, leading to unsuccessful implementation of water and sewer reticulation projects.
Town clerk Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza confirmed the suspension of Mr Thomas Kunaka and Mr Benford Maposa on allegations of drawing water and sewer plans for suburbs such as Woodlands and Montrose which led to unsuccessful implementation of the projects.
She said investigations were underway to establish how the two’s actions could have prejudiced the local authority in potential revenue from building plan approvals.
“I can confirm that two employees namely Mr Kunaka and Mr Maposa are on suspension pending investigations into water and sewer plans for some private suburbs in the city,” she said.
According to the service delivery inquiry report released on July 23, compiled by a committee led by councillor Albert Chirau which included councillors, members of the residents association and staff from the local authority, the water and sewer drawings that were prepared by Mr Kunaka and Mr Maposa were not supervised.
The report further notes that the designs were subject to self-review leading to unsuccessful implementation by private developer Tinshel properties and Construction as the water lines had some back flows.
“Other examples of these back flows noted by the audit during the physical inspections include Woodlands and Ascot Extension projects,” reads the report.
“Poor designs resulted in substandard engineering works in sewer reticulation sand outbreak of water-borne diseases in the city suburbs.”
The report notes that the corporate image of City of Gweru might be affected when its employees are contracted without supervision and approval of the council.
“There was also loss of revenue by the city council in building plan approval,” reads the report.
Mr Emmanuel Chidaushe of Tinshel Properties, one of the affected private land developers, said they invested a lot of money in designs thinking it was the local authority they were dealing with only to realise that there were individuals allegedly going behind the local authority.
“We went to the town house and met with Mr Thomas Kunaka and Mr Benford Maposa,” he said.
“So we engaged them thinking it was aboveboard only to realise that they were duping us. We are grateful that we are now on the same level with the council and the problem is being rectified.”