|New Gweru vehicles|
Gweru City Council has come under fire as residents are demanding that the local authority must sell the new Toyota VX Land Cruiser bought for the office of the town clerk and channel the money towards service delivery.
The top of range car, which was commissioned last week, was set to be used by the former town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza before she got fired last year on gross incompetence and corruption charges.
Council also bought two Isuzu KB single cab trucks from Casas and Wackdrive at a price of US$26 200 and U$30 500 respectively.
Residents who engaged some city fathers in a residents-controlled WhatsApp group expressed concern over the state of service delivery in the city.
"It's not fair for council to continue being operated like a tuck shop. Bills have been hiked to sponsor luxurious lifestyles of individuals in council. Your Worship (Mayor Josiah) Makombe, we want a listening council despite our different political thinking. It seems we have moved from being a city of progress to a retrogressive one,” said one resident.
Eve Mapurisa Nyikadzino, another resident, said council was supposed to prioritize service provision especially water which is a basic right.
"How can they buy such expensive vehicles yet they cannot provide water to their residents. Water is a basic right and we have been deprived for too long," she said.
Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) director, Selipiwe Conerlia told TellZim News that they have always been against the purchasing of the vehicle.
"As residents representatives our position is very clear. We don't want the new vehicle to be used as a pool car. Let that car be sold and be replaced by three utility vehicles that the city needs.
“We know that the car will end up being an exit package for some top official and that is not acceptable. We will therefore not rest; we will approach all relevant authorities including the Minister (of Local Government).
On his part, Makombe said all the three vehicles were going to be used for council duties
"It will not be fair for residents to be shortchanged by having the vehicles used for other jobs not set by council. I urge those in charge to put these vehicles to good use. The vehicles are meant to ensure the provision of service delivery
"The Isuzu trucks are part of the contractual obligation with these companies (Casus and Wackdrive) to service Mkoba 21 and Randolph suburbs. We hope our partnership will yield positive results for Gweru," said Makombe.