Bulawayo councillors have unanimously rejected the order by Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo to use devolution funds to acquire fire rucks from Belarus, according to Daily News.
Moyo had, in a circular issued in June, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo directed local government authorities to purchase fire trucks from Belarus.
The circular seen by Pindula News, told all town clerks, secretaries and chief executive officers that the government of Zimbabwe made a deal with the government of Belarus.
Reads in part the circular dated 14 June 2022 :
In a bid to alleviate capital equipment shortages in Local Authorities, the Government of Zimbabwe will procure fire tenders from Belarus on a Government to Government agreement. Each Rural Local Authority will get one fire tender. Urban Local Authorities will get two and a Metropolitan Local Authority will get three fire tenders. The funds to procure the equipment will be deducted from the 2022 Devolution Allocations and will be done over a period of twelve months starting March 2022. The cost of each fire tender is USD 464 296. It is therefore advisable for Local Authorities to reprioritise the Devolution Funds to accommodate the cost of the fire tenders.
Government critics rejected the deal saying “poor councils” that were failing to provide required public goods and services, shouldn’t be prioritising fire trucks.
Even some ZANU PF Members of Parliament questioned the deal.
ZimLive.com reported earlier that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s associate, Alyaksandr (Alexander) Zingman is the ultimate beneficiary of the deal that will consume a total of about US$55 million of the councils’ devolution funds.