Councils’ Corruption a Microcosm of Central Government Rot

By John Chimunhu|
Now Daily Analysis|

The massive corruption that has been uncovered at Zvishavane Town Council has shocked the entire nation. It is inconceivable that a single bar manager could steal beer worth more than $100 000 in a single year (2014) and drink it all. It is evident that a whole chain of graft and manipulation was set in motion by the corrupt activities of one individual, with the collusion of more powerful forces within the council.
The massive theft by Zvishavane Town Council beerhalls manager Raphael Karanda would not have happened without the active participation of more senior associates. It was only discovered because of the cries of ratepayers, the whistleblowing by some within the council administration and the vigilance of councillors.
Questions that were raised by the public, and then taken up by councillors about anaemic municipal revenue, led the audit committee on a trail of the missing funds, resulting in the culprits being caught. According to an incomplete audit report seen by Now Daily’s reporter, Karanda stole beer valued at $100 000 and they are still counting. The real amounts looted from the poor council will never be known. They could be in the millions over a period of 10 years.
Whether the culprits face justice and pay restitution is still to be seen.
The solution to these damaging thefts, however, is to create accountability within the council. That starts by getting rid of all the bad apples within the top management. Thieves should not have a place anywhere near public funds. Then, the whole establishment must be overhauled and rationalized to bring it in line with ratepayers and stakeholders’ expectations of good, clean and corruption-free local governance.
(c) 2015 Now Daily. All Rights Reserved.


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