By Staff Reporter
Kwekwe City Council is still determined to splurge substantial amounts on top of the range vehicles for Mayor Angeline Kasipo and Health Director Marry Muchekeza it has emerged.
Last year the local authority was heavily criticized by residents after it was prepared to cough out $1 million on its then $471, 8 million budget on a mayoral vehicle at a time service delivery is tottering on the brink of collapse.
Following the hyper inflationary environment, the figures will be changed to meet the inflationary demands as Kwekwe is pushing for the rebasing of the budget.
Kwekwe City Council is now demanding for residents to pay for their rates in US$ or equivalent to RTGs.
Kwekwe City Human Resources Manager Athanas Chidzurira told councillors in a full council Tuesday that the local authority is only awaiting for greenlight from the central government to purchase the vehicles.
“We submitted the required papers to government expressing our intention to purchase vehicles for the mayor and the director of health. We have since written to the government seeking cabinet authority to purchase the vehicles,” Chidzurira said.
Kasipo said council was budgeting for a Toyota Fortuner for her office.
Kasipo had to abandon a battered Mazda Familiar which was left in office by former Mayor Matenda Madzoke and opted to use her own personal vehicle.
Madzoke refused an official vehicle during his term.
Kwekwe City last year shelled nearly $1 million on a vehicle for the Director of Housing Edson Chiyangwa.
Chiyangwa’s vehicle gobbled $800 000.
According to mayor Kasipo plans are also in place to purchase a vehicle for Muchekeza.
The proposal to purchase vehicles comes at a time when Kwekwe City is struggling to implement its 2020 budget because of the “economic effects of the Covid-19 crisis,” which is, “creating a storm for council’s finances, simultaneously increasing spending and reducing incomes.”
The finance director within the city Rejoice Maweni said it is a challenge to implement the budget due to, “volatility in the cost structure of providing services.”
Consequently, Maweni said there is a need to rebase the 2020 budget.
“Council not generating foreign currency which the market is demanding, as a result accessing fuel has been a serious challenge. All products are now quoted in US$ or equivalent to Zim currency,” she said.
To continue offering service delivery, Maweni said Kwekwe was now going to charge its tarriffs in USD.
“It is therefore legal foe Kwekwe City Council to bill and offer its services and sell goods in both Zimbabwe dollar and foreign currency at the ruling exchange rate. Council can therefore, rebase its tarriff structures in USD and payment can be made using either foreign currency or Zimbabwean dollar at the prevailing exchange rate,” she said.