The recently appointed Acting Gweru Town Clerk, Vakai Chikwekwe has been entangled in a massive fuel looting scam which has seen the local authority losing thousands of dollars.
Dating back to April 2017, the former magistrate is alleged to have regularly claimed fuel amounting to 4500 litres from the City for trips, some of which he never made.
Documents seen by 263Chat reveal that Chikwekwe has more than 80 counts of fuel theft dating back from April 2017 with the now suspended Town Clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza believed to have once contemplated suspending him in August this year.
“It is alleged that you committed serious misconduct from the period 2 April 2017 up to 19 July 2019 in the following:
“Theft or Fraud in that you deliberately and intentionally withdrew fuel in excess of your weekly allocation and in excess of the trip requirements.
“In some instances you could claim fuel and money in excess of the trip requirement. Your action has the effect of compromising service delivery or sabotaging service delivery against the background that fuel is in short supply,” reads part of Chikwekwe’s charges.
In some instances, Chikwekwe would allegedly fuel two different cars while also claiming fuel for trips never made.
Chikwekwe is also accused of failing to return claimed monies for cancelled workshops and doctoring council meeting minutes, a situation which Gweru Councilors have in the past expressed concern over.
“You deliberately inserted a five paged minute on the minutes of the Human Resources and General Purpose Committee which was never discussed in the relevant meeting, this is against your duties as the Chamber Secretary in terms of your duties…,” reads the document.
“On 21 March 2019, you deliberately wrote to Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) advising of the inclusion of Heads of Departments to be part of the Procurement Management Unit against section 17 of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Asset Act… which clearly prohibits the inclusion of Heads of Departments in the PMU since they have other roles in the organisation, a conduct which resulted in PRAZ threatening to withdraw the provisional authority to procure as a ‘class A procuring entity,” further reads allegations against Chikwekwe.
These revelations come amid reports of serious infighting between management and elected officials over poor service delivery in the Midlands capital.
The fiasco claimed the head of suspended Town Clerk Gwatipedza for allegedly failing to supervise departments to deliver on the city mandate.