Harare City official transfers US$130,000 into personal account, buys car

HARARE City Council’s former Human Capital Director, Cainos Chingombe, reportedly transferred USD130 000 council funds into his personal account and used some of it to buy a luxurious off road vehicle.

This was revealed when Chingombe appeared before Harare magistrates’ court on Monday facing charges of criminal abuse of duty by a public officer, alternatively theft of trust property.

It is the state’s case that in October 2014, Chingombe, working in connivance with some senior council officials, transferred US$130 000 from the council’s Traditional Beer Levy account into his personal account before purchasing a US$119 000 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.

The Traditional Beer Levy account exists in terms of the Traditional Beer Act which provides that the levies must only be used for the welfare of the community and funding the provision of services which include water, health, education and other related interventions.

The state further claimed that Chingombe bought the top of the range vehicle without the relevant ministerial approval of city council resolution and pocketed the remainder.

According to the City of Harare procurement supply chain system, council vehicle procurement exceeding US$10 000 mu be acquired through tender.

The offence came to light when the then minister of Local Government ordered a compliance audit on the city of Harare.

Chingombe who is currently remanded in custody with his bail hearing currently on-going at the Harare Magistrates’ Court, acted inconsistently with his duties and also violated Harare City Council policy directives.

This happened when the local government authority is being accused of failing to deliver public goods and services to the ratepayers.

Harare often cites inadequacy of resources as the issue affecting service delivery in the capital. ■

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