Blessings Chidakwa-Municipal Reporter
THE cash-strapped MDC-led Harare City Council is planning to splash US$1 million to hire 10 tippers, a dozer and front end loader instead of buying the equipment, raising eyebrows of suspected underhand dealings.
A quick search on the Daws Plant & Machinery Zimbabwe website showed that a single, Howo Sino truck 20 cubic tipper costs US$59 200 and calculations show that with US$1 million council could purchase 16 tippers.
But in a joint Environmental Management and Finance and Development committee meeting held last week, the city fathers resolved to hire for two months than buying the equipment.
The minutes from last week’s meeting partly read that “council approves the dump clearance plan that is to be implemented in residential areas by the acting director of works from mid-August 2021 to mid-October 2021.
“That council approves an approximate expenditure of US$1 275 516 in hiring the trucks.”
According to the breakdown, council had budgeted a total of US$986 850 or $83 882 250 and US$897 750 or local currency $76 308 750 was set aside for hiring 10 tippers for dump clearance for all suburbs.
For the spreading and compaction of waste (Golden Quarry), the local authority proposed to hire a D8 dozer for US$40 500 or $3 442 500 and a front end loader for US$48 600 or local currency $4 131 000.
Harare City Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme yesterday said council was turning down the proposal.
“We are not hiring. The costs were requested to see whether it was worthwhile to hire. It was deemed not necessary to hire so we are not hiring. We do not have the budget for hire,” he said.
However, a councillor who spoke on condition of anonymity said the councillors endorsed the plan during the full council meeting.
“We endorsed the deal and said we would be using the devolution funds to hire the machinery,” said the councillor.
According to the council minutes, an estimated sum of $170 million was required to repair the refuse management critical fleet.
The local authority also noted that an estimated sum of $35 million was required for maintenance of at least 45 pieces of refuse management fleet until December 2021.