Kasukuwere raises red flag for Gweru

Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday issued a ministerial statement in the National Assembly outlining alleged gross incompetence at Gweru City Council which prompted him to suspend all the city fathers.

Source: Kasukuwere raises red flag for Gweru – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 15, 2016


In his statement in response to a question he was asked last week by Mkoba MP Amos Chibaya (MDC-T), Kasukuwere read out a litany of irregularities that he said were unearthed by an audit into the state of affairs of the City of Gweru.

Some of the irregularities included that the water account was not ringfenced as per ministerial directive, resulting in money meant for residents being channelled for self-enrichment by councillors and management.

“The audit also unearthed delays in billing and other anomalies, and the sum total of this was that council was sitting on non-revenue water of more than 30%, which means of all treated and pumped water, council could, on a daily basis, account for 30% of its water,” Kasukuwere said.

“The preliminary water audit findings to date have identified more than 3 000 illegal connections, various properties that are not in the council’s billing platform, more than 15 000 non-functional meters, and a proliferation of unprotected wells dotted all over the city, to name a few.”

The minister also told the House the audit also unearthed stands and other properties that had been created and parcelled out illegally, adding they were not in council’s databases, while at the same time drawing water from council’s distribution systems illegally.

“The ministry will not be deterred from taking corrective action on all unearthed irregularities at City of Gweru and will not rest on its laurels until sanity prevails. No amount of threats or malicious reporting will impede our drive to ensure that Gweru residents are protected from unfair treatment,” he said.

But Binga North MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda (MDC-T) shot back at Kasukuwere, saying if he insisted the Gweru council was fired due to gross incompetence, then the Zanu PF government should also be removed because it had failed the economy.

“Central government has numerous problems of mismanagement, including the cash crisis, and we can also say we now need a commission to run the country because it has problems,” Sibanda said.

When Chibaya asked Kasukuwere to explain the relationship between one of the commissioners running the city, Mark Choga, and engineer Vavarirayi Choga, Kasukuwere shot back at him by, saying he (Chibaya) must settle his water bills as he was not paying, angering opposition MPs.

Other MDC-T legislators, including Godfrey Sithole (Chitungwiza North) and Elias Mudzuri (Warren Park), said the minister had also shown gross incompetence by failing to align local government laws to the Constitution.

Kasukuwere said his ministry was working on the alignment of the laws.

Acting Speaker Reuben Marumahoko adjourned the debate before other opposition MPs could ask further questions.

Kasukuwere immediately left the House, further angering MPs who felt they should have been given a chance to ask more questions.