Probe tender complaints

bulawayo city council

BULAWAYO City Council has always been regarded as the best managed local authority that is free from undue political influence and corruption.

The city retained its clean image early this year when a number of local authorities were found to be paying their top management obscene salaries.

Some small towns such as Gwanda and Plumtree were even found to be paying higher salaries than Bulawayo.

The city has not witnessed serious corruption cases on the scale of those unearthed in Harare for example.

However, of late there have been minor cases where council employees and councillors have been implicated in shady deals.

The latest case that would cause concern among ratepayers is the alleged manipulation of tenders for council shops that are being leased out.

According to council reports, a tenderer for a butchery who failed to produce requisite documents, but went on to win the tender, has raised dust.

In October, the local authority conducted interviews for new tenants to occupy about 80 closed shops and unoccupied factory shells in the city, months after evicting others in the western areas.

Councillors and the council management officials presided over a week-long selection process.

There are reports that the awarding of two leases to two shops in Mzilikazi and Nguboyenja has irked several councillors who are alleging that the process was not above board.

The winning bidder allegedly failed to produce a bank statement and offered the lowest in rentals as he proposed to pay $150.

Other bidders who reportedly had substantial head of cattle ranging from 30 to 150 with proof of ownership, bank statements reflecting thousands of dollars, offering up to $550 monthly rentals, butchery equipment and detailed employment plans.

Council has to thoroughly investigate the matter so that it can safeguard against similar things in future that might taint its image.

Bulawayo must maintain its clean image by demonstrating that it has no place for greedy people, be they councillors or employees.