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Residents petition council over non-delivery of equipment

BY TATENDA CHITAGU

Residents of the sprawling Gutu-Mupandawana town have petitioned the local authority over non-delivery of equipment purchased last year.

The equipment includes a grader, front-end loader, backhoe loader and a vehicle.

The residents’ representative body, the Gutu United Residents and Ratepayers’ Association, has written to council demanding an explanation.

Part of the letter, which the local authority confirmed receipt, reads: “On behalf of residents of Gutu, we are demanding explanation concerning the purchase of the following items a couple of years ago: a grader, front-end loader, backhoe loader, vehicle.”

The residents’ body also requested disclosure over the repossessed stands in one of the new housing suburbs which the local authority allegedly secretively resold to a few bidders.

“As residents, we are also requesting the full disclosure of the beneficiaries of the repossessed stands in Munhende high-density suburbs in the interest of accountability and transparency. The majority of the applicants for the repossessed stands did not receive any communication as regards the supposed bidding process,” part of the letter reads.

However, Gutu town clerk Alexander Mutembwa said the delay in delivery of the equipment was due to the lockdown as well as some suppliers who reversed the transactions due to fluctuations in the exchange rate.

“Regarding the motorised grader, the supplier said it will be coming this month. We bought it just before the initial lockdown last year,” he said.

“As regards the front-end loader, the supplier cancelled the contract and returned our money due to exchange rate fluctuations.

“We did not purchase any vehicle. Concerning the backhoe loader, the company where we bought, Pelgian, is yet to deliver not only to us, but many councils,” he said.

Mutembwa said the repossession of stands and their sale was transparently done.

“You are free to come to our offices and see the paperwork. Everything was done above board,” he said.

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