MUTARE– Residents and ratepayers have approached Minister of State for Provincial affairs in protest over council’s decision to appoint Housing Director, Stenard Mapurisa as the acting Town Clerk.
The residents, who sought audience with Minister Mandi Chimene, are claiming that Mapurisa’ is cut from the same cloth as the former Town Clerk, with hands dripping with corruption, as he stands accused of underhand dealings in allocation of stands at the troubled municipality.
Mapurisa was recently in the docks for allegations of double allocating a residential stand a matter which was later withdrawn by the complainant under unclear circumstances.
The residents who defied their political persuasions and united against the appointment of Mapurisa also called for full investigations against those fingered in a recently published audit report.
There were also calls for the freezing of the assets of those fingered in the audit report as having prejudiced council, to recover the municipality resources.
“As residents were are surprised that Mapurisa has been appointed as the acting Town Clerk when he has his issues. We wonder what criteria was used to appoint him.
“We need to have their assets freezed so that they pay back what they owe the city council,” said a resident.
Another resident questioned why the Mayor, councilor Tatenda Nhamharare and the city fathers approved the appointment of Housing director.
These sentiments were also expressed by Minister Chimene who blasted the city father for shortchanging the city by rushing to make such an appointment without making proper consultations with the responsible ministry.
Chimene called for the firing of the entire management team accusing them of being in a syndicate with the Mayor, in underhand shenanigans at Civic Centre.
She said the Mayor should have raised alarm over gross mismanagement, saying his silence was an indication of his involvement in the mess, calling for him to be fired.
“I’m not impressed at all over this decision. If the Mayor was aware of all this mess, which was happening under his watch and he did not say anything, then this Mayor should go because we cannot exonerate him from this mess,” said Chimene.
Minister Chimene said she would make submissions to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Saviour Kasukuwere to make a full scale investigation over the management fingered in the audit report.
She said those fingered in the report should face the full wrath of the law as the matter has already been submitted to the responsible authorities.
“How can the Mayor accept such a decision from someone who has defrauded the council? It doesn’t mean that this is over but the investigations will go on until we get to the bottom of the matter.
“We have to follow the law of the nation and have the proper procedures and we are going to appeal to the Minister responsible to intervene immediately,” she said.
Minister Chimene also rubbished claims that she had been clamoring for the firing of management with ulterior motives.
Some inside sources had made allegations that Chimene had been angling to have Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba replace the former Town Clerk, however the fiery Minister State denied these accusations.
She said her only motivation in this matter was for good service delivery to the residents and ratepayers of Mutare.
“Dr Gwaradzimba is at her work, she has a job which pays her well and is sitting pretty. So were these people failing their work only to blame other for having a motive to have them fired for their own mess?
“I have no other motive beyond service delivery for the people of Mutare and the proper use of the resources that they pay in rates,” she said.
The audit report which has led to Muzawazi’s resignation indicated that the City of Mutare was operating unsustainably, as well as flouting the Urban Councils Act, Public Management Act, and various government policies and rules and procedures.