MUTARE– Under fire Mutare City Town Clerk Mr Obert Muzawazi has resigned in the aftermath of a damning audit report which fingered top management in corrupt activities.
Mayor councilor Tatenda Nhamharare confirmed this development saying the Muzawazi handed in his resignation on Tuesday morning.
Part of the resignation letter read, “I hereby submit my resignation from the post of Town Clerk and proceed to early retirement. It is my desire to make this as peaceful as possible to allow the council to quickly attend issues of importance for the survival of the city.”
Mayor Nhamharare said Housing Director Stenard Mapurisa has since been appointed as the acting Town Clerk.
“Mr Muzawazi handed in his resignation letter and we met with management and the councilors who have since appointed Mr Mapurisa as the Acting Town Clerk,” he said.
Muzawazi became the first casualty of the audit report instigated by the Ministry of Local Government, National Housing and Public Works, as a result of workers going for over fourteen months without pay.
The report among other issues detailed how the top management awarded each other hefty allowances despite the council operating unsustainably.
In his presentation of the audit Minister Kasukuwere said the management was living in luxury and extravagance which was beyond acceptance in the ministry.
Kasukuwere said that despite workers being unpaid salaries were gobbling about 85% of council income with little left for council core business.
“The City of Mutare is operating unsustainably they are producing a budget but there is no resemblance between your budget and what you are actually collecting and spending.
“Secondly, the city is operating in defiance of the Urban Councils Act, Public Management Act, and various government policies and rules and procedures.
“What comes out is that your council is in serious financial crisis your various creditors $19 million and you are also owed $13 million. We have to take our responsibilities seriously.
“On top of this workers have not been paid for a very long time. You have an unsustainably huge workforce 1501 and this constitutes 85% of your revenue leaving 15% for service delivery the real work of the city council.”
Several political figures in Mutare have been angling for the ouster of Mr Muzawazi, with the Minister of State for Manicaland Affairs Mandi Chimene and Chikanga Dangamvura Member of Parliament, Esau Mupfumi organising separate demonstrations last week.
Although both demos flopped, characterised by discord in the gathered crowds, these political players influence might have held sway in the end.
Ironically both Chimene and Mupfumi were said to be pushing a hidden agenda with the former fronting for Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba to take reins at the trouble municipality while leaked chats exposed Mupfumi’s hidden agenda.
In some Whats App chats seen by this reporter Mupfumi was in discussion with a councilor to persuade Mayor Nhamharare to push Muzawazi into resignation. The chats also showed that Mupfumi’s intentions were to use his influence to distribute stands to party youths.