CEO, councillor fight over Campfire funds

BINGA Rural District Council (RDC) chief executive officer, Joshua Muzamba is reportedly embroiled in a bitter wrangle with Kabuba Ward 17 MDC-T councillor, Themba Munkombwe, whom he accuses of abusing $4 103 Campfire funds.

BY SILAS NKALA

But Munkombwe is, in turn, accusing the former of framing him after he complained that the RDC was being run like an extension of Zanu PF.

The chief executive is a Zanu PF central committee member.

Muzamba, on September 25, wrote to Munkombwe, ordering him to repay the $4 103 from Campfire funds by October 5.

Traditional-Tonga-mud-huts-on-stilts-near-Binga-Zimbabwe

“In furtherance to the audit committee meeting of September 4, 2015 and the full council meeting of September 17, which considered the audit report in the alleged misuse of Campfire funds by Kabuba Ward Environmental Management Committee (WEMC),” he wrote.

“It was noted and concluded you used a total of $4 103 without proof of authorisation from the community. You are, therefore, advised to pay back this money by October 5. Failure to comply will result in legal action being taken against you to recover the amount in question.”

Munkombwe allegedly used the money to, among other things, travel to Harare.

The councillor wrote back to Muzamba on September 30, demanding the minutes of the audit meeting of September 4.

“Can you incorporate some previous meetings and audits regarding Kabuba WEMC. If ever there has been poor administration, the local authority, being Binga RDC, is to blame because books started being audited in 2013,” Munkombwe wrote.

He said if there had been no expertise of WEMC, the weakness was the council executive that failed to capacitate the particular committee on keeping its books.

“I, therefore, plead with you to incorporate some previous minutes in this regard. And it would be my pleasure to attach the letter written by the committee making such allegations,” Munkombwe wrote.

On Tuesday, Munkombwe said he had complained to the government about the CEO’s behaviour.

Munkombwe wrote to the Local Government ministry and various other stakeholders, claiming the allegations were politically motivated.

“The CEO audited the Campfire books in 2013 and 2014 and never raised such allegations,” he wrote.

Munkombwe said part of the money he was accused of abusing was used when he was sent by the same council to Harare to see the Minister of Environment over illegal settlers in some conservancies in his ward.

Munkombwe said there was agreement among the committee members over his travelling expenses and the money used was from an unproposed budget and included transport, food, accommodation and airtime.

“On September 4, I was called for a hearing together with four members of Campfire of Kabuba ward. I was told by the CEO that I was guilty of the offence, but there were no minutes regarding the hearing. Therefore, I do not admit to the allegations,” he wrote.

Munkombwe said he wondered why the CEO would start accusing him of abusing Campfire money, when the audit was done sometime in 2013 and 2014 and no such allegations were raised.

He alleged Muzamba was angry because he always complained about the employment of the CEO’s relatives in every council department.

“The CEO intends to destroy Binga RDC like BIDA, where he was a director. The CEO is violating my fundamental rights as a policymaker of Binga RDC because to him, I am a threat,” Munkombwe wrote.

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