Cash strapped Harare to splash US$23 000 on iPads
strapped Harare City Council, which is struggling to buy chemicals to treat drinking water, is set to splash US$23 000 on councillors’ iPads.
Each of Harare’s 46 councillors plus some selected council bosses will get an iPad, whose average market price is in the region of US$500.
Calculations show that the local authority will have to part with US$23 000.
This luxury is being prioritised at a time council is failing to pay its workers with some being owed up to US$400 000.
Interestingly, The Herald understands that barely half of the city fathers know how to operate an iPad.
Harare recently came under fire from the Auditor-General for borrowing an aggregate $32 million to fund salaries and terminal benefits of employees without ministerial approval.
“Under matters for which the chairperson’s consent had been obtained, the committee was advised that the tender processes (of iPads) had been completed and the matter was now with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe and it was anticipated that approval would be received within the month of June 2019,” reads finance committee minutes.
The minutes of the recent finance and development committee meeting further read: “The finance committee was advised that procurement of councillors’ iPads was now at PRAZ. The procurement would be completed by mid-July 2019.”
Meanwhile, the council is also set to dispose of 103 vehicles and 31 motorcycles deemed redundant.
“That in terms of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act, council approves the disposal by public auction of 103 old redundant City of Harare vehicles, 31 redundant motorcycles and various scrap materials.”
“That council approves the disposal of the various council assets detailed in recommendation in United States dollars which shall be paid in equivalent RTGS dollars at the prevailing interbank rate on the day of payment for such disposed asset,” reads the minutes.
Harare, already faced with acute transport challenges, has been spending a fortune hiring equipment to carry out its day-to-day functions. According to th latest Auditor-General’s Report, in the last financial year, the city spent $222 950 on hiring equipment when it would have been cheaper to have its own idle equipment repaired for $159 969.
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