Council pressed to audit operations
Council needs to decisively take a stand on the existence and structure of Harare Municipal Medical Aid Society scheme as it has become an overly abused liability, a government official has said.
Harare Metropolitan provincial development co-ordinator Tafadzwa Muguti made the revelation at an interactive orientation with Harare management and councillors during a workshop held in Kadoma last week.
“At the end of the day we have brought an institution which is now basically a noose around the neck of the employee.
“It’s taking money every month but employees are not realising any return.
“Part of your hundred day integrated results based management (IRBM) is to make decisive decisions on HAMMAS.
“I’m going to help you on that.
“I will ask the ZACC provincial team to conduct lifestyle audits on HAMMAS officials.
“We’ve observed gross irregularities at HAMMAS. Most of their management has been there for a very long time.
“In some instances, they access loans that are never repaid. Imagine, even going to the extent of undertaking alternative investments without board approval.
“We need to ensure that has been dealt with thoroughly. Taking monies from employees without providing a service (medical aid), is akin to robbing them.
“We need to find a lasting solution,” he said.
He said HAMMAS members are not supposed to continue contributing where there’s no service.
On the issue of staff accommodation, the provincial head said he is very concerned about the availability, or lack thereof, of accommodation for council employees.
“At council properties like Trafalgar Court about 90 percent of people staying there do not deserve that accommodation.
“We’ve employees and councillors who do not have council accommodation and are in dire need.
“When I went for Covid-19 vaccination at Wilkins Hospital, some nurses approached me asking my office to raise that issue with the mayor and councillors.
“They complain over lack of accommodation even after serving long terms, 20-30 years, in service.
“They fear that they may get out of council without their own homes or stands. It brought tears to my eyes.
“Let’s look into the welfare of our workers. I’m very concerned about staff accommodation. When their contracts come to an end, at times, you chuck them out like dogs,” he fumed.
He urged audits committee to work closely with finance to take stock of all council property.
“The issue of council property has now become a secret. No-one wants to tell us which properties belong to council.
“We’ve since discovered that some of those properties we perceived belongs to HCC were long disposed of. On inquiry you get the disturbing reply that they’re now individual properties.”
The PDC raised concern that a good number of employees exploited the system in a calculated manner.
“At the time when you sold a house to Chinotimba, a lot submitted their names and took advantage of the system to acquire properties. Council had blocks of flats in Eastlea and Milton Park, but, those cannot be accounted for.”
He revealed that central government is candidly alert to goings on at Town House.
“As Government we know everything but we give you time to put your house in order as the acting mayor has said.
“Work together with finance committee to have a list of all immovable properties.
“Physically go to every council property and know who is staying there. If there are undeserving occupants evict them.
“It’s sad to note that staff morale is low right now as corruption has taken over in terms of staff accommodation. Only a privileged and connected few enjoy rich pickings,” he said.
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