Cash-strapped Chipinge Town (CTC), which is owed $243 million by ratepayers, has acquired three top-of-the-range vehicles for its executives.
This comes at a time the local authority is struggling to ensure efficient service delivery for residents.
Just over a week ago, CTC took delivery of a Nissan Navara single cab worth US$29 000 which was allocated to the Engineering Department.
Three double-cab vehicles for the executives are expected in the near future.
The vehicles were purchased using the council’s internal funds.
However, Chipinge residents want the council to also prioritise the acquisition of service delivery vehicles.
Amato Rungano of Chipinge Town Residents Association (CTCA) said:
While it is not in dispute that heads of departments need to have vehicles as part of their package, council should also prioritise the acquisition of service delivery vehicles.
We need skip bins, road compactors as well as street lights. As residents, we take great exception to delays in acquiring these important vehicles considering the poor service delivery and the state of our roads.
Improving service delivery will encourage ratepayers to settle their outstanding bills.
This will also see the council improving its revenue collection efficiency as residents will be seeing value for their money.
ln defending the local authority’s latest purchases, council chairman, Councillor Lovemore Mkwapati said provisions for the executive’s vehicles were made in the 2022 financial budget.
He said the decision to buy the vehicles for senior managers is meant to arrest the brain drain haunting the council. Said Mkwapati:
We are continuously losing senior managers because of poor remuneration.