Local Authority

Tandi calls for improved coms between council and residents

MARTIN MULEYA

Former Mutare Mayor, Blessing Tandi, has slammed the disharmony between the local authority and residents, adding that the tension is caused by the lack of information from the city fathers.

Tandi made the remarks in an interview with The Midweek Watch during the integrity seminar organized by Manica Youth Assembly (MAYA) last Friday.

City of Mutare ex-Mayor, Blessing Tandi.

He highlighted the need for more advocacy so that ratepayers are well-informed of the council’s activities, adding that integrity is key for quality service delivery.

“There is a need for advocacy meetings so that residents are informed of the city’s plans and activities. The management should also be present at these meetings to explain certain technical aspects of how the council operates.

“The role of a councilor is to bridge the gap between the local authority and residents, and they should be informed of whatever is transpiring at the town house as well as in the wards,” Tandi explained.

However, the City of Mutare’s internal audit manager, Peter Manjokota, said the organization has deliberately established mechanisms to curb corruption at the local authority.

“We have crafted an anti-corruption policy that is backed by different policies, such as Whistleblowing, Information Technology, and Conflict of Interest policies, and it has been endorsed by the council. The City of Mutare is the only local authority so far that has a risk assessment.

“Through this assessment, we will be looking at fraud risks that can occur in our cashiers, engineers, auditing, and planning departments. We need to assess risks to deter corruption at the local authority. We have also trained all our councillors on how to identify these risks associated with fraud,” said Manjokota.

He added that the Manicaland capital has since hired information and technology auditors to review the council’s software systems.

Manjokota also stated that the council always exercises due diligence in all its activities and has established an integrity committee.

He criticized residents, saying they are aiding corruption at the local authority by “failing to comprehend the council’s processes.”

Manjokota further highlighted that the local authority will be rolling out campaigns in all the 19 wards to help residents understand the roles of the integrity committee and invite them to sign pledge forms to fight corruption.

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