By Miriam Mangwaya
CHIVHU residents have called on Chikomba Rural District Council (RDC) authorities to press charges against four revenue clerks who were recently dismissed from the local authority on fraud charges.
The four, Lorance Magwiroto, Martha Mudzana, Violet Mukombo and Rosa Chikwama who worked in the department of finance, were dismissed after an internal hearing found them guilty of defrauding the local authority of undisclosed amount of cash through under-receipting collection from ratepayers.
“That, further to the hearing held in respect of the above mentioned misconduct, you have been found guilty as charged and a decision has been passed to dismiss you from council services,” read part of the dismissal letter written to the quartet, signed by the auditor Warren Kufandarerwa on September 3, 2020.
The fifth revenue clerk, who was facing similar charges, resigned from council before he was brought before the internal hearing.
Residents who spoke to NewsDay, however say the council should report the matter to the police if indeed the four were found guilty of fraud to allow justice on matters involving public funds.
Although Chikomba RDC chief executive officer Bullen Chiwara confirmed the dismissal of the four, he refused to comment on why they were not reported to the police.
“It’s still prejudice, I can’t comment on the matter,” he said.
Chikomba RDC chairperson councillor Israel Dhikinya who presided over the hearings also refused to comment on the matter.
Chivhu Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (CHRRA) chairperson Collen Zvarevashe said, by failing to report offenders to the police, council authorities were nurturing a culture of theft and fraud at the institution which was detrimental to efficient service delivery.
“Taking fraud cases to the courts can help our local authority to recover stolen funds which will benefit the rate payers. If offenders are found guilty, court sentences can be deterrent to other council employees to stop them from committing similar offences.
“Previously, a number of employees who defrauded the council either resigned or were fired without being taken to the court and the council recovered nothing,” he said.