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Ex-mayor paying $195 for Dodge

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FORMER Bulawayo mayor Thaba Moyo is paying a meagre $195 per month over an 18-month period for the luxury Chrysler 2.0l CRO Dodge Journey which he used as his official vehicle during his tenure after the Bulawayo City Council sold it to him for $7 000 as part of his exit package.

NQOBILE BHEBHE
CHIEF REPORTER

The Dodge was bought under controversial circumstances in 2010 for $65 000, a price alleged to have been inflated by up to $30 000. According to a confidential council report, Moyo was offered the Dodge for $7 000 plus a laptop as part of his exit package.

“In view of this, will you please advise whether or not you accept the offer relating to the mayoral car — $7 000 so that this matter can be finalised,” the council wrote to Moyo.

In response to the offer which he accepted, Moyo tabled a payment plan to council proposing to pay an initial deposit of $3 500 and the remainder over 18 months.

“It is indeed my pleasure to accept the exit package as spelt out in the referenced letter and do so with sincere gratitude to the honourable minister and councillors respectively for such a kind gesture,” Moyo responded.

“In accepting the offer for the mayoral car, I wish to submit and propose to you a payment plan to liquidate the price of US$7 000 that is attached to it.

“Initial deposit — $3 500 payable in cash as soon as your office accepts the payment proposal… balance — $3 500 payable in equal instalments of $195 for 18 months commencing December 2013” wrote Moyo.

The proposal was then circulated to council departments and the director of finance Kimpton Ndimande suggested that the initial deposit of $3 500 be accepted with the balance being paid over 12 months attracting a 6% interest.

According to the report, council then agreed with the proposal and that the vehicle be “comprehensively insured as appropriate to protect council’s interest; ownership to pass on to him on condition that the vehicle is put on comprehensive insurance”.

Meanwhile, deputy mayor Gift Banda has reportedly turned down an official chauffeur-driven council vehicle and instead requested compensation for using his personal cars.

Banda, a city businessman, has a fleet of luxury vehicles, among them a Mercedes Benz S50, Mercedes Benz ML and a Range Rover Sport. His predecessor Amen Mpofu was chauffeur-driven in a Mazda BT50 twin cab. Council resolved to allocate Banda two full tanks per month in fuel without specifying the size of the tank.

According to a council report, town clerk Middleton Nyoni said Banda “preferred to use his own vehicle instead of the municipal one. He has since requested that council compensates him at a scale similar to the former deputy mayor’s usage for use of his personal vehicle in lieu of a council provided one”.

“On discussing this with the deputy mayor, his view had been that two full tanks per month would be adequate compensation for the tear and wear of his vehicle and the fact that he would not be utilising the services of a council driver,” reads party of the report.

Nyoni had earlier said council had resolved in 2010 that the provision of transport for the deputy mayor be “uninhibited on provision of his weekly programme of engagements that would be provided in advance, for manpower planning purposes”.

However, council changed the resolution in 2011 and resolved that any deputy mayor be only authorised “to use council transport in respect of official arrangements/council meeting/business within a 40km radius of the City of Bulawayo, provided that any trips beyond that radius be carried out in consultation with the mayor or town clerk”.

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