News in depth BY BRENNA MATENDERE
Corruption is allegedly spreading at Tongogara Rural District Council (RDC) amid accusations authorities are turning a blind eye to the cases.
A local anti-graft organisation has since dropped a petition at President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Special Anti-Corruption Unit (Sacu) with the aim of having the vice curtailed.
Last year The Standard, in conjunction with Information for Development Trust (IDT), published an exposé detailing how the rural council corruption was ripping into funds meant for improvement of lives of the poor villagers in the remote area.
The investigation unearthed an invoice (10059906) of the RDC’s Massey Ferguson manual tractor registration number 611968, which was controversially serviced at Duly’s Motors garage, corner 8th Street and Robert Mugabe Way, Gweru, on August 30 2016.
The invoice, which was duly paid to the garage was $2 848.76.
However, enquiries at the same garage made during the investigation revealed that the charge for a service for a tractor was $250 on average at the time.
Other corruption-related tendencies were also unearthed, but nothing has been done despite the whistle-blowing.
In a follow up investigation carried out in the past four months, it was discovered that fresh simmering cases have since emerged.
The Anti-Corruption Trust –Southern Africa (ACT-SA), has unearthed another case of alleged corruption in which the RDC led by CEO Brian Rufasha allegedly paid US$67 850.00 to an earthmoving equipment company, Pelgian Consultancy Services, on July 25 2018.
The money, paid through an internal funds transfer mode, was intended for the purchase of a tractor loader backhoe.
Despite the transaction having been done last winter, the equipment is yet to be delivered at the RDC premises, nine months down the line.
Obert Chinhamo, the ACT-SA director, in a letter to Sacu, said the tender procedures to pick the supplier were flouted and that the money could have been diverted to personal use.