MORE than US$20 million has reportedly vanished from Chitungwiza Municipality coffers due to a well-knit looting spree by employees, acting mayor Kiven Mutimbanyoka has revealed.

Matimbanyoka said this during an engagement meeting with residents on Sunday in ward 20, where he alleged that the looting started in 2020.

“During our investigations, we found out that more than US$20 million is missing from the council coffers. We also found that the scheme started in 2020,” Mutimbanyoka said, adding that the matter was now under police investigations.

As a result of the alleged corruption, one person from the finance department has since been arrested.

“He was not working alone, and we expect him to name his accomplices,” he said.

The exposé comes as Chitungwiza residents are battling to pay $2,3 billion owed to council.

Misuse of funds by Chitungwiza council is said to have affected service delivery in the dormitory town.

“We are only inviting women at these meetings because most of them are housewives and they are the ones who bear the brunt of poor service delivery. We are going to visit all the 25 wards,” Mutimbanyoka added.

Only two out of 25 councillors attended the meeting, with Mutimbanyoka describing it as an act of sabotage.

The two councillors who attended are Agrippa Makwavarara and Reginald Mashingaidze.

“I saw that the other councillors are letting me down. This programme is not about politics. I am going ahead with the meetings, whether they come or not as they are about improving service delivery,” Mutimbanyoka

Some councillors, who were not at the gathering, said they were not aware of the meeting.

Ward 25 councillor Johannes Mwandama said: “I was not aware of such a meeting. The idea is good, but the way he is doing it is totally wrong. He should have told us about the programme, so that residents can see the seriousness of the meetings.”

Chitungwiza has a severe sewage and water crisis, while the roads have seen better days without repair.

Source Newsday