THE parliamentary portfolio committee on Public Accounts has given Harare City Council a two-week ultimatum to present itself before it to answer to allegations of misappropriation of funds or Town House will be closed.
This came after legislators, who were on a fact finding mission following the Auditor General’s report on local authorities, yesterday found senior council officials not at Town House.
The committee’s chair, Dexter Nduna, had no kind words for the council officials, saying the committee had agreed to give them two weeks to present their side of the story following the allegations.
“We have given them an opportunity to come and exonerate themselves and give us information in a fortnight, otherwise the place could be closed down for a while and we will put the right people who can do well for the citizenry who are innocent and unsuspecting,” he said.
The Auditor General’s report for the period 2018-2020 claimed there were illicit financial activities at Town House with unverified expenditure of over US$200 million.
“Money was utilised, but there is no one to answer on how it was used or where it went to. The town clerk is not around to answer to all this and it seems he has no answers to how it was used and we cannot have square pegs in round holes. We need to have the right people in the right places,” Nduna said.
The committee also sought to interrogate issues relating to solid waste management which were also raised in the AG’s report.
Acting Harare mayor Stewart Mutizwa, who was present when parliamentarians got to the council, said they were open to the initiative of public scrutiny, saying as a public institution they had nothing to hide.
He also apologised to the parliamentary committee over the absent council officials.