Mayor hits back at salary-gate accusations

HARARE Mayor Herbert Gomba on Wednesday hit back at residents for alleging the municipality blew up US$144 million on luxury vehicles for its top officials working on the rehabilitation project for water and waste.

In 2014, Harare City Council (HCC) is said to have splashed US$144 million on luxury vehicles for officials working on its controversial water and waste rehabilitation project.

But HCC out rightly dismissed the allegations as false.

Addressing stakeholders today (Wednesday) at town house, Gomba said the former Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo had ordered them to purchase the vehicles with some of the US$70 million loaned to them China Exim Bnk..

“We were directed to purchase the vehicles after we had received only US$70 million instead of US$144 million from China Exim Bank, and US$2 million was used to acquire the vehicles which included the latest Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover models as well as Toyota Land cruisers,” he said.

HCC is currently owed about ZWL950 million by residents, business, government and other institutions.

Gomba also revealed that HCC required ZWL34 million for water chemicals, ZWL15 million for salaries per month.

With revenue collection ranging between ZWL20 and ZWL25 million monthly, HCC’s total revenue collections fall far too short for just the city’s monthly water chemical needs.

HCC said revenue collection had largely remained stagnant as government had not yet approved its 2020 supplementary budget.

Consequently, the municipality had to reduce its budget allocation for water chemicals in order to make do with what council could afford.

“For water, we were initially using 12 chemicals for its treatment, but they were reduced to four after we carried some chemical tests with Lake Chivero Dam water,” read the minutes.

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