Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau
Kwekwe City Council is set to spend US$70 000 on the acquisition of top of the range vehicles for the mayor, Councillor Angeline Kasipo and director of health services Mrs Marry Muchekeza.
The local authority, which recently introduced a dual payment system, intends to buy the latest Toyota Fortuner for the mayor and a Ford Ranger Wildtrak for the director of health services.
Kwekwe City human resources manager Mr Athanas Chidzurira told councillors during a full council on Tuesday that the local authority is only waiting for a green light from central Government to purchase the vehicles.
“We submitted the required papers to the Government expressing our intention to purchase vehicles for the mayor and the director of health. We have since written to the Government seeking Cabinet authority to purchase the vehicles,” Mr Chidzurira said.
Councillor Kasipo has been using an old model Mazda Familiar, which was used by former Mayor Matenda Madzoke, who turned down the purchase of a new mayoral vehicle during his term opting to have the money channeled towards service delivery.
The proposal to purchase vehicles comes at a time when Kwekwe City is struggling to implement its 2020 budget, which has since been eroded by inflation.
Meanwhile, Kwekwe city finance director, Mrs Rejoice Maweni said the council was facing a challenge in implementing the budget due to, ‘volatility in the cost structure by service providers’.
She said there is a need to rebase the 2020 budget.
“Council is not generating the amount of foreign currency, which the market is demanding and as a result accessing fuel has been a serious challenge. All products are now quoted in United States dollars or equivalent to the prevailing exchange rate,” she said.
Mrs Maweni said the local authority will now be charging in hard currency in a bid to generate enough revenue.
“It is therefore legal for Kwekwe City Council to bill and offer its services and sell goods in both Zimbabwe dollar and foreign currency at the prevailing exchange rate. Council can therefore rebase its tariff structures in US dollars so that payment can be made using either foreign currency or Zimbabwean dollars at the prevailing exchange rate,” she said.