Wednesday 27 March 2024


HARARE City Council has suspended 23 officials who took advantage of loopholes in its inadequate and makeshift accounts system to siphon millions of dollars and line their pockets after the proper high-end Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) billing system was dumped in March 2019.

Addressing journalists on the city council’s failure to have its 2024 budget approved by Government, Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume yesterday said the removal of the ERP has created a serious problem in having fully audited accounts for the City of Harare with all revenue and payments accounted for.

“The previous council insisted and made a number of resolutions around issues of the audits to reinstate the ERP because of the number of thefts that are occurring within the system.

“We now have over 23 staff in the finance department on suspension pending disciplinary hearings because of a gap, among other things, created by lack of an ERP system and audited accounts,” he said.

Large modern companies and other entities such as Governments and city councils, normally use heavy-duty enterprise financial systems to keep track of the large web of revenue inflows and payments, along with the assets and other financial matters.

Harare dumped its ERP system in 2019 after the South African company providing the services wanted to be paid it’s fees in foreign currency.

It was replaced with a system designed for small and medium businesses with the Auditor General being very critical of the change, especially after she was unable to find out how large sums of money were spent, saying even council officials did not know.

The mess in the accounts system in Harare City Council has become a burden to residents with some now receiving monthly bills of as much as US$800 monthly.

Some council officials are alleged to be deliberately conniving to sabotage the proper working of a billing system after their bid to replace the US$75 000 a year system with a US$51 million system was shot down last year.

Speaking during the city’s last full council meeting, Councillor Denford Ngadziore said corruption was rife in council.

“On ERP there seems to be connivance between city council officials and other agencies because the system has not been working for years and residents have been complaining”.

Harare Residents Trust director Mr Precious Shumba recently raised a red flag over the absence of a billing system.

“Most residents are concerned about the absence of a functional billing system since March 2019. From the council’s decision, one can easily tell that they are mostly concerned about making personal money but very little for service delivery,” he said. Herald




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