The scandal ridden Gweru City Council has been embroiled in a fresh scam involving over US$100 thousand after the local authority flouted tender regulations while money was paid for goods which were never delivered.
Town Clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza is already on suspension, and the new revelations from the audit report might as well open another can of worms.
Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe is the acting town clerk following the suspension of Gwatipedza in October 2019.
Gwatipedza joined Gweru City council from Redcliff in 2016, replacing Daniel Matewu.
According to a council internal audit dated January 27, 2020, council led by Gwatipedza made questionable payments to suppliers some of which never fulfilled their side of the bargain in 2017.
The audit noted that in 2017, council lost US$92 895,10, through a botched back-hoe loader deal, which resulted in the local authority getting a second hand machine instead of a brand new machine. It also noted that council went on to pay US$6 525,85 for an engine overhaul for the machine that was supposed to be brand new.
“The back-hoe loader was delivered to council by Rubtech machinery on April 24, 2017. On arrival the roads technician suspected the machine to be second hand as there were signs of poor workmanship or repainting, no upper water tank lid and signs of water leakages between head and block and rust all over the machine. The audit noted that the machine broke down two times well before the expiry of warranty period that is either 4 000 hours or two years, whichever came first. A payment of $6 525,85 was made by council in September 2018 for an engine overhaul repairs to the back-hoe loader, after it reached only 1 300 hours,” reads part of minutes.
Thus, the machine failed to serve council as expected.
The audit also raised the red flag over US$9 920,00 that was paid to Afripool for servicing of two water pumps at Gwenhoro Dam but proper works were not done.
“Payment of US$9 920,00 was made to Afripool to service two pumps 7 and 9 at Gwenhoro but Afripool did not do the job. Afripool was awarded another job as evidenced by order number 158659 amounting to US$13 000, yet the same had not performed the previous job,” reads the minutes.