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Beitbridge municipality hit by mass resignations

by Staff reporter
30 Dec 2020 at 07:34hrs | Views
BEITBRIDGE municipality has been hit by mass resignations of key staff amid allegations of conflict of interest and abuse of office.

It is understood that despite having been swept under the carpet over the years, several cases of fraud, abuse of office, improper allocation of stands, cash shortfalls among others are beginning to surface.

This is against poor service delivery that has seen the local authority failing to maintain roads in residential areas.

Sewer bursts are a daily occurrence while the Environmental Management Agency has turned a blind eye to burst sewage pipes and uncollected garbage.

At least six officials resigned this year, among them housing officer Nicholas Muleya, who had an architectural concern and Oliver Sijiye, the municipality's town planner who had a company that moulds bricks. Marvin Ramakgapola, from the Treasury Department left in a huff after failing to account for fuel drawn for personal use from a municipality account.

Although this was a theft case, the municipality chose to hold a disciplinary hearing. Another accounts clerk left in a huff as investigations into missing funds were launched.

An assistant executive left to join her spouse in South Africa.

Town Clerk Loud Ramakgapola yesterday said those who resigned had done so for personal reasons and he was not aware that they fled possible criminal prosecution.

"Well their reasons are always personal. I may not be privy to that as some things could have happened before my time," he said.

He joined Beitbridge municipality in 2014.

Asked about improper allocation of land and stands Ramakgapola said this might have happened before he joined the local authority.

Several businessmen and individuals in Beitbridge have complained that the local authority lacked transparency in its stand allocation with only a few individuals getting them.

Council officials have been known to allocate themselves prime commercial stands for speculative purposes against standing rules.

"There are commercial stands at HaMbedzi that some top officials sold exorbitantly to private buyers after holding on to same for many years. "Resolutions as to how these stands were allocated are not available.

"Potential investors have been denied land despite being asked to submit lengthy project proposals which are ignored. They do not even communicate," one businessman said.

"Prime land that could have been allocated to investors with capacity was taken by municipality staff," said a source within the local authority.

Residents also questioned the relationship between some land developers and council staff who did not terminate their contracts despite them failing to deliver.

"The developers charge for land in foreign currency but remit the local currency to the local authority.

"There are many people who are yet to build despite having fully paid for their stands which are not serviced.

"The local authority is allowing developers to rob people.

"It's fraud and it involves some officers," said one resident.

Clients of land developers in Beitbridge, Alpha Housing, Forit, Mornef, SDP, Kingdom Light and Hawk Flight are complaining of poor service but the municipality has not intervened.

Source - newsday