Residents have taken Mutare City Council to the High Court over its alleged failure to audit its financial books for the last five years.
The United Mutare Residents and Ratepayers’ Trust (UMRRT), led by retired Anglican Bishop Sebastian Bakare, through its lawyers Maunga Maanda and Associates, cited the City of Mutare as the first respondent and Local Government, Public Works and National Housing minister July Moyo as the second respondent.
In an application filed by their lawyers, the residents are seeking the granting of an order compelling the municipality to appoint a reputable firm of registered public auditors within 30 days of the granting of the order to carry out the audit for the financial years ending June 30, 2014 to 2018.
“The making of the declaration that by failing to produce audited books, balance sheets and accounts for the financial years ending 30 June 2014 to June 30, 2017,” the application read.
“Respondent has failed to comply with its constitutional mandate to ensure good governance by being effective, transparent, accountable and institutional coherent in the exercise of its right to govern the local affairs of the community of Mutare.
“The granting of an order compelling the Mutare City Council to produce the auditors for the purpose of the audit, accounts, balance sheets, all relevant books, papers, writings and minutes books in its possession for the financial years from 2014 to 2018.”
The application further read: “The granting of a structural interdict by the court ordering the first respondent to prepare and present before it, comprehensive report within the first 90 days of the granting of the order detailing how it has complied with the order of the court and the 180 days, a report attaching the audit reports for the financial years as already stated.”
The residents said the audit report should answer what the actual employment costs accrued by the local municipality were, also whether they had an effective financial management system and the state of audit preparedness of the first respondent.