BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) employees have been implicated in a scandal where they allegedly demanded US$35 bribe from the Anglican Church in Luveve to repair a burst sewer line.
The issue emerged after one of the church leaders, Sibangani Dube, was demoted from the vice-chairmanship for facilitating payment of the bribe to council employees.
Dube yesterday confirmed the development to Southern Eye.
“I am a congregant at the Anglican Church in New Luveve. On July 11, a team from the BCC sewer department attended to and cleared a blocked private line at the church,” Dube said.
“The norm is that one makes a payment at the council revenue office and gets issued with a receipt. However, in this case, it was a Sunday and council offices were closed. The guys asked us to pay US$35 to clear the line. The church leaders negotiated and settled for US$20 which was given to council workers. This meant that council lost revenue.
“Council lost fuel, including wear and tear of council vehicles. Residents experiencing sewage spilling at their premises are kept waiting while council employees will be doing their personal piece jobs using council equipment,” he said.
Dube said bribery was also affecting the church, adding that after reporting the corruption by council employees to BCC, it was unfortunate that he was removed from his church position as vice-chairman.
Two members of the Anglican Church trustees, Father Msasa and Father Madida said they were not in the office and could not comment.
Mayor Solomon Mguni said he was in a meeting, while his deputy Mlandu Ncube professed ignorance of the corruption issue.