Harare City Council splashes US$700k on cars

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HARARE City Council has splashed about US$700 000 on luxury vehicles at the expense of the critically needed refuse trucks, exposing the council’s penchant for profligacy ahead of service delivery.

There are fears that the council could have failed to do due diligence on the tendering process of the vehicles that were paid for last year, but only delivered this year.

With residents battling uncollected garbage, the CCC led council instead prioritised purchasing 10 Nissan Navara single cabs at a cost of US$33 716 each and 20 Nissan NP200 trucks costing US$16 687 each, so spending US$670 900 on the 30 vehicles.

According to a botched council deal with FAW South Africa, exposed by The Herald, a double skip truck costs R800 000 (US$57 500) meaning with US$670 000 council could have afforded 11 such trucks with a bit of change left over.

Interestingly, handing over the fleet of pick-ups, tractors, motorcycles, one front end loader and an excavator last Tuesday, Harare Mayor councillor Jacob Mafume hinted on using the 20 NP200 trucks to clear dumpsites.

“If there are no vehicles, I will commandeer them (NP 200) to go and clear the dumpsites because we have assured the residents of the city that we are clearing these dumpsites and they have to be cleaned by any means necessary,” he said.

“We are going to be receiving 10 Navara single cabs. These Navara’s are also going to be put to work to react to the service issues that are required.”

He conceded that the council vehicles were being abused by employees. “We hope we won’t find the cars at beerhalls, lobola ceremonies and other ceremonies.

“At one time we had a bizarre case where someone went poaching with our vehicles caught in the middle of a forest in Kwekwe with animals that they had poached.

“We cannot have that. Let’s use these vehicles for the residents. The residents will be monitoring. These days they have WhatsApp. They will send pictures of vehicles that will be doing things that they ought not to be doing,” said Mr Mafume.

Harare City Council acting corporate communications manager, Mr Innocent Ruwende, yesterday said all tender procedures were followed on purchasing the vehicles.

“The NP200s were procured from Amtec Motors under tender COH/S.06/2021 through SPOC resolution 0801 at a cost of US$16 687 each payable in local currency at the RBZ official rate. AMC Nissan also competed for the tender.

“Navara single cabs were procured from Amtec Motors under tender SPOC resolution 0592 at a cost of US$33 716 each payable in local currency at the RBZ official rate. Croco Motors also responded to the tender,” he said.

Mr Ruwende said the vehicles were distributed to the building inspectorate, fire brigade, development control, revenue, municipal police and audit. – Herald