Harare City Council, Sakunda officials tour Rufaro Stadium (Image: OpenCouncilHre)

Harare City Council officials, who recently returned from a 5 day trip in South Africa, are allegedly pushing for USD per diem payments from council despite receiving the same from trip sponsor, Sakunda Holdings.

A Harare Residents Trust (HRT) source said the officials were paid per diems by Sakunda for their five days in South Africa where they were on a feasibility study to help the reconstruction of Rufaro Stadium into a world class facility.

“Reports (are) suggesting that the Acting Chamber Secretary Warren Chiwawa has been threatening some officials, especially one Chris Muchena from protocol over the non- issuance of cabinet authority on last week’s Sakunda funded trip to South Africa.

“It is believed that there is a strong push for the delegation to be paid an equivalent amount in USD from council coffers, which amounts to double dipping.

“This is despite the fact that Sakunda Holdings allegedly paid the officials and councillors an amount in excess of US$150-00 per day for the five days that they were in South Africa.

“Chiwawa is allegedly pushing this line and has not stopped pursuing all council officials responsible for the processing,” it said.

However, responsible council officials are refusing to oblige because the delegation was paid by Sakunda and council should not pay them the same amount.

Benchmarking Visit

The trip to South Africa was undertaken by policymakers and technocrats to benchmark for the refurbishment of Rufaro Stadium, a project which is being funded by Sakunda.

A 12-member delegation which included Harare City Council officials, policy makers, technocrats as well as officials from Sakunda Holdings spent five days in SA.

The tour was a follow up to the first visit to Rufaro by both Sakunda Holdings and Harare City Council officials in March to assess the state of the facility and have a guideline of what needs to be done to upgrade it into a modern football stadium.

In SA the team toured FNB Stadium as well as the Moses Mabhidha Stadium in Durban to have an appreciation of the facilities before they embark on the renovation of Rufaro Stadium.

They returned to Harare last Saturday. -OpenCouncilHre