ZVISHAVANE Town Council beer hall manager Raphael Karanda has been suspended on allegations of fraud and embezzling of funds, while more investigations are being carried out.
According to a press statement released by the town chairman Esau Gwatipedza Dube, Karanda’s suspension on theft allegations came as a recommendation by the finance and audit committee chaired by councillor Andrew Chikandiwa.
Dube said the council had already reported the matter to police for further investigations and external auditors would be involved in investigating the matter and the council’s financial affairs.
“Karanda is facing charges of theft involving an amount that is still to be verified and investigations are continuing,” he said.
“The council has resolved to hand the matter over to the Zimbabwe Republic Police for investigations. Furthermore, we resolved to bring in external auditors to investigate this and other financial affairs of the council.”
Town secretary Tinoda Mukutu confirmed that the council had suspended Karanda and filed a complaint with the police, but dismissed the idea of council engaging external auditors over the case.
“I am not aware of the press statement, but of course we have suspended Karanda and we have filed a complaint with police,” he explained.
“Due processes are taking place both internally and through the courts, but we did not resolve to involve external auditors yet.”
Asked about the total amount missing, Mukutu said further investigations were being carried out and they will know the exact amount that the authority had been prejudiced of.
However, a council official, who declined to be named, said there was bad blood between the council and management, with the former accusing the latter of insubordination, while the latter accused the former of gross mismanagement.
“There is rift tension between council and management,” the official said.
“Recently the management submitted the 2015 budget to Local Governance minister Ignatius Chombo for approval, but councillors demanded its rejection before it was returned under unclear circumstances.”