Bulawayo city councillors threatened to invite the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to probe how the Council is handling Ward retention funds.
During a full council meeting held on Wednesday, deputy mayor and Ward 3 councillor, Tinashe Kambarami, said that he had been trying to access funds for his Ward to no avail for the past 7 months. He said:
These funds are not donations nor are they pledge from the council to the people, they come directly from the residents. The constitution states that residents shall be given access to this money whenever they identify projects they wish to embark on.
It is now difficult for us to start explaining to residents that the money is unavailable. Someone has to explain what happened to the funds if the money is there. The ward retention funds are supposed to be kept in own separate account.
Cllr Donaldson Mabuto of Ward 9 said that only $13 000 was left in the Ward account having initially been told that there was ZW$41 500 available, yet no requisition for money had been made. He said:
We sincerely hope an error occurred in the account and that no money is missing from it. I’m sure, if the finance department was to check their files, it would realise no request was made at all by our ward.
If these funds are not accounted for, we have no other choice but to call on the anti-corruption committee.