Monday 21 August 2023


HARARE mayor Jacob Mafume has come out guns blazing, accusing government of buying fire tender trucks at inflated prices after sidelining local authorities over their purchase.

Last year, Local Government permanent secretary Zvinechimwe Churu wrote to all councils informing them of a government decision to acquire fire tenders on their behalf for US$464 296 each.

On Friday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa unveiled the first batch of fire tenders procured from Belarus for all the country’s 92 local authorities to help them manage fire incidents.

In an interview, Mafume said they would have bought more trucks with the US$464 296 used by government to buy one truck.

“Our position has always been that we were not consulted; we would have bought a whole lot more fire tenders and ambulances with the money that is being talked about,” he said.

“This amount of money is so much and way above what we would have thought a fire tender would normally cost.

“Remember, these are not donations and they were bought with taxpayers’ money, so we must not be confused.”

Last year, residents and watchdogs said the Local Government ministry’s directive went against the spirit of devolution. Newsday


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