Sunday 30 June 2024


Zaka Rural Disctrict Council (RDC) spent over US$200 000 to procure a water drilling rig about five years ago, but the rig has never drilled even a single borehole since then despite the fact that the district is facing acute shortage of clean and safe water.

To make matters worse, Zaka district was hard hit by cholera last year with a number of villagers losing their lives because they were using contaminated water from rivers and unprotected wells. The councilors led by chairperson Fungai Maregedze revealed, in a leaked letter to the Minister of Local Government and Public Works, which TellZim is in possession of that the local authority bought a drilling rig sometime in 2018 but did not sink even a single borehole since then.

The letter was signed by Maregedze dated June 7, and was a follow up to another letter written on May 20 where the councillors were seeking the minister to intervene following an impasse between the management and the councillors.

Contacted for comment, Zaka RDC Chief Executive Officer David Majaura gave a different version and said procurement of the rig started in 2021 not 2019 as been alleged and said they drilled five boreholes with it.

“The procurement started in 2021 and it took time to be delivered. It was said to be at a port in South Africa and was finally delivered in 2023 end of year.

“On testing, it was noted that it had parts vandalised while at the port, so the supplier took it for fixing. We were handed over the rig back in February this year and we have since drilled five boreholes. One is in Jerera, one in Charuka, another one at Charingeno Secondary and two at Charingeno Primary School,” said Majaura.

However, the council chairperson claimed in the letter that each time the councilors sought the CEO and his management to account thats when they claimed the councilors were interfering with their work.

Chairperson Maregere said council bought a water drilling rig in 2018/2019 but has never used it.

“The council bought a rig in 2018/19 and paid over or around US$200 000 but never drilled a single borehole up to today as they cite problems with the rig. When we tried to get clarification on that the CEO then wrote to you saying we are interfering yet we are playing our oversight role.

“Is this interference Honourabe Minister? How do we achieve our call to action if Government invests in equipment and we take five years with a non-functional rig listening to stories and fearing to be labeled interfering? Who is supposed to ask the management why it’s not functioning from the day of purchase to five years then…,” reads part of the letter to the minister.

Maregedze also raisedcorruption suspicions in the manner council properties such as halls were being leased but the management could not account for the rentals being paid.

“We have Gain Wholesale renting our community hall. The resolution is that council was to improve the vendor market and since 2019 Gain was paying US$ 2000 per month but there is nothing to show for it. If you ask it’s labeled. Why are we in council Honourable Minister if we are not allowed to understand this serious mismanagement of resources,” questioned Maregedze in the letter.

“We have a worst budget performance of 11 percent in June. What miracles are we going to perform Honourable Minister if we are at 11 percent while 2024 is at 50 percent going to December? When the finance committee requests for strategies to cover the gap it’s called usurping powers and interference and our good CEO secretly writes letters to you without copying me on the same issues which I copied him which clearly shows he is getting sympathy somewhere,” Maregedze further alleged in the letter.

Minister Daniel Garwe has since dispatched a five member team to investigate a number of issues at Zaka RDC. TellZimNews


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