Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo recently directed local government authorities to purchase firetrucks from Belarus saying the government of Zimbabwe had entered into a deal with the government of the Eastern Europe country.
The move has been heavily criticised in some quarters.
Government critics say the deal is a “scam” meant to siphon money from local government authorities.
Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said the deal is a repeat of scandals made previously. Said the law expert:
Zanu PF does not care about service delivery or the welfare of the citizens. A fire engine that costs between $20K & $50K is being bought for over $400K. Of course, the deal never went to tender & local authorities weren’t consulted. It’s the Zupco bus scandal all over again!
This illegal directive is a clear attempt to loot devolution funds. Who is behind this Belarusian company? How were they picked? They cease to be devolution funds if Central Govt is the one directing how they’re to be used. Follow the Constitution.
This unilateral, extortionate & forced purchase of fire tenders by Central Govt is illegal, corrupt & must be resisted by local authorities. Min of Local Govt has no power to buy fire equipment especially without going to tender. Devolution means local authorities self-govern!
Prominent lawyer, Thabani Mpofu who is popularly known for representing Nelson Chamisa and the MDC Alliance after the 2018 elections said the move is unconstitutional. He said:
To begin with, this is unconstitutional and is contrary to all sense. In addition, this is theftous and demonic greed mercilessly blended. Furthermore, this shows that meddlesome Zanu PF has failed Finally, this must be resisted by all good people and shall be.
Freelance journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono says the move must be rejected.
The instruction to councils by Local Government Minister, July Moyo through his PS to accommodate overpriced fire engines in their budgets should be REJECTED because it is a LOOTING exercise by the ZANUPF regime using councils! It is UNPATRIOTIC and outright politically criminal.
Team reOpposition ziiii zvaro after July Moyo’s corruption is exposed. Opposition going after looters shouldn’t just be about Chamisa, Biti, Sikhala, Mahere, Chibaya, and Sibanda. ALL of those intending to run in 2023 should be roaring like lions here.
It is not breaking news to opposition leaders. They were the first to receive these letters because they are the ones in charge of the councils. The letters were sent out last week…
Some said local government authorities have more pressing issues that must be attended to hence the move was ill-thought-out.
The development comes when government critics are opposing the US$344 million Pomona Waste to Energy Project which is a Joint Venture Agreement between the City of Harare and the investor, Geogenix B.V saying it was imposed on the local authority.