HARARE – Bindura Town Council chamber was turned into a boxing ring on Monday after the town’s mayor and finance director were involved in a nasty scuffle, leading to the two reportedly exchanging blows.
The two — mayor Innocent Zvigumbu and finance director Lovemore Warurama — were part of council officials who were deliberating on a 2016 audit report in council chambers that unearthed financial anomalies.
During the heat of the debate, accusations and counter-accusations were exchanged, leading to a scuffle.
Upon being contacted for comment yesterday, Zvigumbu and Warurama gave conflicting accounts on what had transpired, which laid bare the bad blood between them.
Warurama told the Daily News that the scuffle started during a discussion of the 2016 special audit report.
He said as Zvigumbu was chairing, he raised an objection pertaining to the amount of money used in the preparation of the audit report.
“He (Zvigumbu) said $17 000 was spent on the audit report and I objected that this was not correct, since the person was being paid $50 a day, translating to only $500. I told the mayor that the evidence was at his disposal for him to see.
“The mayor was not happy with this and threatened to storm out of the meeting. He actually said ‘I am resigning’,” Warurama said.
Warurama said as the mayor was leaving, he passed through where he was seated and started assaulting him, before rushing to the police.
Zvigumbu, on the other hand, gave a different version of events.
He said the scuffle emanated from an audit report that showed that council had been prejudiced of $300 000 by top management through salaries.
He said management had been asked to cut its salaries, but did not.
He said as he was chairing the meeting, he was facing Warurama, who was bullying him thus he asked the finance director to leave, but he refused.
Zvigumbu alleged he was facing serious resistance from Warurama, town clerk Shangwa Maveresa and the chamber secretary, who he claims were disputing findings of the audit report.
“We want them to pay back the money, but they are finding ways to frustrate me. What incensed me on the day is that when the finance director told me f***k you. I then decided to leave, but the finance director tripped me and I fell on top of him…,” Zvigumbu said.
He said the audit report which Warurama said was prepared at a cost of $500 was not the one that was being debated on the day. Both parties were yesterday making frantic efforts to have their cases reported to the police.