BY KENNETH NYANGANI
ACTING Mutare town clerk Antony Mutara has accused the city’s former managers of maladministration after they left behind a US$22 million debt and a huge salary backlog.
Mutara made the remarks during a meeting with newly-appointed Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Nokhutula Matsikenyere on Tuesday to discuss the state of affairs at the civic centre.
He said the new administration had since cleared the debts.
“The new management at our council came in 2017. We came here facing a lot of challenges which had stalled service delivery because of a leadership vacuum,” Mutara said.
“There was poor corporate governance. The last administration left a huge debt of US$22 million and we have since cleared all the money we owed and workers had not been paid since 2013.
“This was caused by poor revenue collection and there was loss of confidence by both external and internal stakeholders. The image of the organisation had already been compromised.
“We came facing a five-year outstanding audit, the infrastructure was dilapidated, water was in short supply, refuse collection had actually collapsed, there was no longer any street lighting and raw sewage was flowing on our streets.”
Mutara said they had since cleared the five-year outstanding audits, while workers were now being paid regularly.
He also added that service delivery had improved drastically in the city.
Former town clerk Obert Muzawazi was forced to resign on corruption allegations by former Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene in 2016.
He was succeeded by Joshua Maligwa who, however, succumbed to COVID-19 early this year.
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