‘Corruption bleeding BCC, stifling service delivery’ 

Source: ‘Corruption bleeding BCC, stifling service delivery’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe

BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
Corruption has bled Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to an extent that it’s now affecting service delivery, a local governance expert has said.

Local government consultant Ntokozo Tshuma made the claims during an all-stakeholder meeting held in Pumula’s ward 17 on Monday.

A delegation from the Swedish embassy, area councillor Sikhululekile Moyo, residents and other local interest groups attended the meeting.

“We have a lot of revenue leakages in our local authority. A few days ago there was a report about a tender scam where over $2 million was taken from council coffers by a local authority employee,” Tshuma said.

“Council has poor monitoring and control mechanisms which are causing revenue leakages. Instead of funds going towards service delivery, they are lining the pockets of council employees. The local authority needs to curb this problem. It has to improve its internal monitoring and control mechanisms.”

Tshuma expressed concern that 52% of council expenditure was going towards salaries, with little catering for service delivery.

Government policy on local authority expenditure stipulates that 70% must go towards service delivery and 30% for salaries.

“The local authority needs to cut the salary budget through staff rationalisation.  An internal job audit must be done.  There is duplication of positions,” he said.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) organising secretary Melusi Moyo said:  “Residents have raised the issue of corruption in terms of tender processes.  They said in some instances companies are just given tenders and the money is paid without any work being done. It is worrying to us as residents. For example, construction of the Egodini Mall has taken too long. There is also corruption in tender processes.”

Moyo said BPRA received numerous complaints on tender corruption at BCC.

“Money is being spent on bogus companies and residents are worried about that,” Moyo said.

Other participants accused city fathers of ignoring residents’ input at budget consultations.

Council recently held virtual 2022 budget consultations.

The area councillor said BCC should stop contracting bogus companies to rehabilitate sewage reticulation systems.

Ward 17 residents also complained that they paid rates but continued to experience poor service delivery.

Mayor Solomon Mguni dismissed claims that corruption was rampant at BCC.

“For me to comment on Tshuma’s findings will be difficult unless he shares his findings with the council and then I will be able to comment. As far as I am concerned, these are all his opinions,” Mguni said.

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