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Mberengwa councillors blow US6000 on allowances for a meeting which never happened

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Mberengwa Rural District Council allegedly spent over US$6 000 on Thursday last week on a meeting which never happened.

The Midweek Watch’s Bridget Mutukwa reports that all the 37 councillors refused to hold a full council meeting despite constituting a quorum because technocrats and chiefs were not present.

The Council pays for the allowances and all other related costs for the 37 councillors of Mberengwa which is one of the biggest rural districts in the country.

Councillors argued that they wanted the technocrats to be in the meeting so that they guide them on technical issues although there is no law that provides for their mandatory presence in ordinary full council meetings.

Acting chief executive officer, Percy Mwedzi reportedly persuaded councillors to go ahead with the meeting to reduce costs for the RDC which is facing serious financial problems, but the majority of councillors vehemently refused.

Mwedzi argued that the council will fork out another US$6000 for councillors to reconvene the meeting. The meeting was postponed to June 24, 2022. Pleaded Mwedzi to no avail:

The error has been noted and I suggest that we go ahead as the Act allows us to do so in the absence of the technocrats. All the councillors are present which means there is a quorum and the heads of departments will be invited in the next meeting as there are so many issues that need to be addressed in the council.

After the opening remarks by the Council chairperson, Nyembesi Shumba, Mberengwa District Development Coordinator, Vafias Hlabati raised a point of order and asked why heads of Government departments were not invited.

The question sparked a heated debate between councillors and Council staff led by the acting CEO, with the majority of councillors concurring to postpone the meeting.

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