Council employees forged certificates

FOUR Harare City Council employees have been reported to the police after an audit revealed they had allegedly worked at the local authority with forged qualifications.

Audit manager Joseph Issa, presenting a report to councillors, revealed that the investigations were done on 112 skilled worker certificates for artisans.

“The affected employees were three plumbers or drain layers and a boiler maker under the Harare Water Department.

“The four employees have since resigned from council service,” Issa said.

According to the audit committee minutes, councillors demanded that salaries paid out to the four bogus employees be recovered from each of them.

Chamber secretary Charles Kandemiiri, however, advised councillors that the issue needed further investigations for council to make an informed decision.

Councillors in the Enock Mupamawonde-led committee noted that the audit division should carry out similar investigations on artisans in other departments to avoid repetition of the same matter.

“As a matter of policy, Harare City Council should send certificates for vetting by relevant institutions before appointment of employees to various positions in council,” the audit committee resolved.

In August, a council employee, in cahoots with realtors from Guest and Tanner, embezzled more than $11 000 from the city meant for water payments.

According to a report, the council worker would allegedly enter inflated figures into the BIQ billing system without having been paid the correct amount.

The offence was discovered after the estate agents commercial services manager noted that the company’s bills were not being credited the amounts they would have paid council on various occasions.

In July, council employees were also involved in the illegal procurement 52 000 litres of petrol valued at $70 400.

The fuel was purchased from Raven Court Fuels for Highfield water-works depot, but the consignment never reached its destination.—Helen Kadirire

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