MDC Mutare councillors caught up in corporate governance storm

0
1092
Mutare City Council
  • I told the councillors there is a government circular that states they should not be in that board. However, they argued that other councillors in various cities like Harare are doing the same – Mutare Town Clerk


MUTARE City councillors have taken up roles on the board of Pungwe Breweries and Marketing in violation of government’s policy which prohibits councillors and city council management from occupying positions in the municipality’s subsidiaries for the purposes of upholding corporate governance.

Pungwe Breweries and Marketing is council’s subsidiary company wherein the local authority policy makers are enjoying benefits and allowances that come along with the positions.

Mutare Town Clerk Joshua Maligwa said his attempts to persuade councillors to drop their positions in the board fell on deaf ears.

I told the councillors that there is a government circular that states that they should not be in that board. However, they (councillors), argued that other councillors in various cities like Harare sit in boards of the city’s companies,” Maligwa said.

The Pungwe Breweries and Marketing Board comprises of councillors Kudakwashe Chisango who is the chairman, Edison Kalulu and Daniel Saunyama.

Other members of the board are Ellen Mandiziba who is the Director of Housing and Community Department and the council’s senior accountant B. Taringa.

The councillors were appointed as board members through a full council resolution held in 2018, contrary to the government’s policy.

The Mutare City councillors disregarded advice from the Permanent Secretary of the Local Government in a letter dated 26 February 2019 addressed to the Town Clerk Joshua Maligwa.

“In the interest of upholding good corporate governance practices it is pertinent that councillors stick to their outright role of policy making, since the scenario currently obtaining at Mutare City Council, where councillors sit in the board of Pungwe Breweries and Marketing (Pvt) Ltd is not tenable,” reads the letter in possession of Zim Morning Post.

The Chisango led board first expired in 31 December 2019 and was
initially extended to 31 March 2020.

The board’s tenure was again extended to 31 December 2020.

Insiders told this publication that the councillors receive ZW$1000 each per sitting among other handsome perks and allowances.

It is alleged that the board deliberately released funds into an individual account to purchase vehicles from their preferred car dealership without a full council resolution and without going through
procurement process and tender.

According to documents in the possession of Zim Morning Post, Pungwe
Breweries deposited $270 000 into the account of Silas Chikodzi ZB
account number 4113-2449642-01 meant for the purchase of the vehicles, defying the dictates of the Public Finance and Management Act and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards.

The vehicles bought were a Toyota Hilux (AFB 2554), Nissan Hard Body
(AFC 6462), Toyota Allion (AFB 3219) and a Toyota Vitz (AFA 6210).

A source said: “The vehicles were not new. They were second hand and they would have never fetched that inclusive higher figure of $270 000 for the mentioned cars during the 2018 price market. The figures were
highly inflated.”

The Mutare Town Clerk Joshua Maligwa said the issue of Pungwe
Breweries and Marketing was a legacy issue that needed to be solved.

“When I came into office in 2017, issues at Pungwe Breweries were a
legacy issue and these are some of the things that we are currently
trying to correct,”
said Maligwa.

“We had an advice on the legal side and a decision by Tinoziva Bere
(lawyer) had advocated for an independent body to run the affairs at
Pungwe Breweries,”
he added.

Maligwa said the current Chisango led board was running affairs at
Pungwe Breweries on an interim basis.

“I do not have a role in appointing board members at Pungwe Breweries. I told the councillors that there is a government circular that states that they should not be in that board. However, they (councillors), argued that other councillors in various cities like Harare sit in boards of the city’s companies,” explained Maligwa.

He stressed that the interim board will expire on 31 December 2020.

“These are some of the issues that we are trying to correct. We have
launched an implementation matrix for Pungwe Breweries that has seen us crafting new policies that will govern the running of affairs at
Pungwe Breweries,”
he said.

Sources said that there have been misappropriations of funds at Pungwe Breweries with named councillors amassing wealth through the inappropriate arrangement.

Advert: Rav4 2008 model. Recent import. Duty paid. 75000km mileage. 2.4L petrol. Automatic transmission. Market price US$13,000. Seller is asking for US$12,500. Contact: +263773322892

Leave a Reply