ACT-SA URGES RELEVANT AUTHORITIES TO FORFEIT TO THE STATE PROCEEDS OF CRIME FROM FROZEN BANK ACCOUNTS FOR SAKUNDA HOLDINGS, ACCESS FINANCE, CROCO MOTORS AND SPARTAN SECURITIES23rd September 2019
Residents and ratepayers within the jurisdiction of the Gokwe Town Council demands a Forensic Audit of the Gokwe Town Council following a plethora of allegations of corruption, mal-administration and poor service delivery. The Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) compiled a report following an invitation by residents, ratepayers and other special interest groups in the town.
Most of the allegations made against the local authority are supported by documentary evidence which either ACT-SA or complainants (residents, ratepayers and other interest groups) are willing to share to facilitate investigations. The report which encapsulates a number of recommendations has already been served to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), the Minister and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government, and the Midlands Provincial Administrator among others.
In a nutshell, the following are the allegations levelled against the local authority:
or about 2011/2, the local authority paid US$23,000 for a brand-new Nissan NP300,
which has never been delivered to date. In the process, the local authority
suffered financial loss to the tune of US$23,000;
- It is alleged that the current Town Secretary was imposed
regardless of having failed (came fourth) the interviews conducted for that
position and also not having relevant qualifications. When a high-profile
individual from the Head-Quarters of the Ministry of Local Government, Public
Works and National Housing discovered that the current Town Secretary had not
applied, she allegedly demanded the post to be re-advertised, which was done.
Complainants stated that the same individual from the Ministry indicated that
she was going to tell the current Secretary to apply since the post was meant
for her. Furthermore, before the interviews, members of the Panel were coached
by the then Chairperson of the Town Council to give her more marks.
- The Town Secretary was allegedly paid a salary and allowances for
December 2014, when she only started work on the 5th of January
2015. Protests at the district level did not help to stop her from enriching
herself. Complainants have proof of the payments made.
- There is rampant corruption on the awarding of tenders. This
allegedly favours family members, friends and compatriots. For instance, the
tender for the supply curtains for the Town House did not only violate tender
regulations but was awarded to a relative who was staying in the same house
with the Town Secretary at the time of the award. In addition, in May 2019, the
tender for catering services for a benchmarking exercise was either awarded to
someone linked the District Administrator or it was allegedly awarded to the
District Administrator using someone else’s name. The attached report explains
in much more detail why there is this suspicion. Documentary evidence is
- The local authority allegedly bought a Chevrolet vehicle for the
Town Secretary for US$58,000 when there were other bidders who had charged much
less. For instance, there was a bidder who had allegedly quoted US$51,000. Considering
financial constraints besetting the local authority, it would have saved
US$8,000. It is not clear why the local authority opted for a more expensive
- The local authority allegedly bought a second hand and accident
damaged Toyota D4D for a price that exceeded, the price of a brand new one
taking into consideration the repairs made on the same.
- It was further alleged that the Town Secretary
owns more than one stand in the Kambasha low density suburb (Stands Number155
and 156) in contravention of council policies.
- Senior managers at the local authority violate
internal policies with impunity. For instance, one of the managers allegedly gave a council Foton
vehicle to his/her child and was involved in an accident. The accident report
was kept a top secret to date.
- The Local authority by-laws are not enforced
uniformly. Those perceived as critical of service delivery at the local
authority, especially members of residents’ associations, allegedly pay more
penalties for committing certain offences than others.
- There is lack of transparency in the
administration of donations. For instance, a donation of US$8,000 from the Department of Parks
and Wildlife, donation from Zinara as well as donation of a fire fighter from
one Mr. Lobels. These were singled out for more investigations.
- Councillors discovered that the local authority
had a secret US Dollar Nostro Bank Account, 01721387410218 which was not sanctioned by policy -makers (Councillors). Money
deposited and withdrawn from the account remains a top secret.
The following recommendations are captured in the report:
- Forensic audit of the Gokwe Town Council. It is alleged that the local authority has been resisting an audit for a long time.
- An investigation into corruption in the recruitment of the Town Secretary. This should include an investigation of individuals based at the parent ministry and the former Chairperson who was accused of coaching members of the panel.
- If it is true that the Town Secretary received a salary and allowance for the month of December 2014, when she only started work on the 5th of January 2015, the money should be refunded to the local authority.
- An investigation of tenders for the supply of curtains to the Town House as well as catering services for the May 2019 benchmarking exercise. The mention of the DA’s name should be investigated.
- An investigation into the payment of US$23,000 for a Nissan NP300 vehicle which was never delivered since on or about 2011/2 to date.
- An investigation into the allocation of stands in the town. Stands allocated to individuals in positions of authority should be investigated.
- Action to avert lack of uniformity in penalties for the same offences.
- The Ministry of Local Government should urgently consider the establishment and introduction of an Internal Anti-corruption policies for local authorities
The report is available here