Lovemore Lubinda

Harare City Council (HCC) continues to lose a lot of revenue though corruption, amid the lack of political will to act on recommendations of the local authority’s loss control arm by head of departments.

The city’s Audit Committee made recommendations that would see that HCC would not continue to lose income by closing off loopholes, but the heads of departments are not taking them up.

Audit Committee chairperson councillor Enock Mupamaonde told a council meeting recently that the local authority was losing a lot of revenue to corrupt elements, and said that it is also worrying that the recommendations by his committee to close loopholes are not being implemented resulting in the continued losses.

“On behalf of my committee, I appeal to His Worship the Mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni to assist us by ensuring our recommendations are implemented by heads of departments,” he said.

Councillor Mupamaonde cited cases of theft of fuel in one of council’s departments, illegal connections of water and fraudulent reversal of rates accounts through the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system.

“In these cases, we had recommended disciplinary action, but up to now, no action had been taken against the fraudsters,” he bemoaned.

Manyenyeni then enquired if the Audit Division had skilled human resources. To which Cllr Mupamaonde responded that though the division was not optimally staffed, the auditors in the system were highly skilled to carry out the job.

The council then resolved that the Mayor assists the committee in making sure that its resolutions were implemented by respective heads of departments in order to plug off the leakages, and that the Audit Division be capacitated in terms of human resources, and get material support like computers, vehicles, and audit software also.

However, despite all the losses, it is not the first time that heads of departments had disregarded audit committee resolutions, in 2016 the committee reported the same issues to the House, and again, according to the committee, no action was taken.