Cash-strapped Chitungwiza Municipality management has clashed with residents on allegations of splashing $15 million on a four-day capacity building workshop while neglecting service delivery.
The capacity building workshop was conducted at the Golden Mile Hotel in Kwekwe.
Chitungwiza Mayor acting town clerk Mrs Evangelista Machona said the trip was very necessary as councillors had not been fully capacitated since inception in 2018.
“The bill was less than $4 million. The expenditure was thus within council approved budget.
“Capacity building of policymakers is one of council’s key result areas so as to achieve good governance. Since coming to office in 2018, councillors were yet to be adequately capacitated on their mandate,” she said.
Mrs Machona also said the venue was the most ideal given the fact that the majority of the facilitators were from the Midlands province.
“It is also important to note that prior to embarking on such important workshop necessary approvals were sought from the parent Ministry and granted accordingly.
“It is therefore mischievous and misleading to insinuate that Council splashed such astronomical amounts as alleged,” she said.
However, a well placed source within council said an investigation should be conducted as the splashed money was part of Government’s devolution funds earmarked for developmental projects in the city.
“It pains that workers are in salary arrears while the councillors and management are dining and wining in Midlands.
“For the four days each councillor pocketed $78 000 daily while the management got $64 000 this money could have gone a long way in solving workers challenges or simply improving service delivery,” said the source.
Chitrest director Ms Alice Kuveya said this is abuse of public funds at the expense of service delivery.
“We don’t have water, garbage is all over the town, no medication and ambulances at our local clinics, council workers are not being paid yet they decide to go and spent our hard earned money in Kwekwe far from the sewage that are flowing in our homes.
“They have been attending different workshops or trainings for a long time but nothing has changed, instead after these capacity buildings we still have councillors who don’t prioritise residents who voted for them.
“They still don’t understand management of public funds and importance of feedback meeting,” she said.
Ms Kuveya said Chitungwiza was doomed to have a council that prioritise their pockets, instead of service delivery yet the municipality is arguably the worst managed council in the country.