SHURUGWI: The Shurugwi Town Council is under the spotlight for failing to avail the necessary tender documentation of two ford ranger vehicles which the council procured for close to USD80 000.
The case was flagged by the Auditor General in a 2019 report.
The council, which has allegedly dodged virtual meetings organised by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts for a record four times, had to finally face members of the committee face to face as they physically visited council offices recently.
During the visit, visiting parliamentarians were riled by council officials’ failure to avail the necessary tender documentation on the procurement of the two vehicles for senior administrators who were manning the townhouse at the time of purchase.
“All we are asking for is proof of your tender. These guys are not taking the auditor general’s report seriously. We came because we noticed irregularities in how the vehicles were procured.
“As a parliament, our role is that of an oversight where we seek accountability on tax payer’s money. We want to make this town great and it involves your participation,” said Dexter Nduna who was part of the visiting team.
“Their problem is to assume that we visited here to play games. We gave them ample time to avail the necessary documentation with regards to the purchase of the said vehicles. We will not accept their approach at all as it speaks volumes to your incompetence and corrupt activities,” added Themba Mliswa who was also part of the visiting legislators.
Shurugwi Town Council Finance Director, Charles Tawonezvi who was part of the procurement team when the vehicles were purchased was not available for comment.
A key source who witnessed the question-and-answer session however told CommuTalk that Taonezvi pleaded with the committee to look for procurement documents which he said had been misplaced.
“It was bad. Taonezvi had to ask for more time to look for the documents on request but it seemed these guys could not buy any of his excuses,” the source said.
The then Town Secretary, Solomon Siziba resigned under unclear circumstances following uproar over the purchase of the vehicles which residents said was not a priority in the face of ailing service delivery.
The vehicles had also been disbursed the two vehicles under dispute to the Finance Director and the former Town Secretary as their personal issue properties after the expiry of the five-year term.
However, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts has since recommended that the vehicles be returned to the council offices as exhibits until the matter has been finalised by the courts of law.