HARARE CITY EXECUTIVE RESPONDS
4 December 2017
HARARE City treasurer Tendai Kwenda responded to allegations by Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni that their football club is a waste of resources.
H-Metro covered a list of allegations by the Mayor on Friday, without a response from the accused club officials.
Mayor Manyenyeni celebrated the relegation of the team saying it was good riddance, accusing them of blowing away US$6 million, an amount that turns out to be spread over four years.
Kwenda highlighted that they only spend in accordance with the budget approved by council while the total budget also covers basketball, netball, women football and development projects at Harare city council-owned primary schools.
“The council has and previously approved sports budgets. In the event that someone thought we shouldn’t be spending rate-payers money, the starting point would be total disapproval of that budget.
“When council comes up with a budget, the budget has to be financed and in this case, the budget was financed as per approved council policy.
“What I also need to clarify is that the US$6 million that has been reported on is actually money that was spend over a period of four years, which makes average expenditure for each year one and half million,” Kwenda said.
He added: “You will notice that in the first year, it was about $1.2 million, second year it went upto US$1.3 million and third year it went upto about US$2 million. Why it went upto $2 million? We had now embarrassed a number of sporting disciplines, that includes basketball, that includes netball and we had also made provision for golf of which the Mayor is one of the avid golfers.
“If you then look at the soccer budget in its entirety, we are developing sport at grassroots levels. We have 32 council primary schools We are sponsoring activities for the under 11, under 12 and under 13, both boys and girls. Further to that, we have been involved in a number of community activities whereby we have been levelling sports fields and providing goal posts, uniforms and soccer balls. All that is coming from the soccer budget, which is said to be the Harare sports budget.
“We also have a team in division one which we were sponsoring and we also have a ladies team which has qualified for the national league. That is all coming from the Harare City sports budget.
“What people need to appreciate is that monies that are being talked about are not only sponsoring the senior team. We are sponsoring all those levels in terms of soccer.”
He suggested that every departments have a role to play effectively within council.
“So where it is alleged we are wasting rate payers money, as a local authority, we have a housing department which is primarily responsible for social activities. They run the stadiums. We have a numbers of stadiums, Rufaro, Gwanzura and Dzivarasekwa. I wouldn’t agree with the fact that we are wasting money, to me I also feel it is part of the service delivery,” he said.
Kwenda added that their books are open to scrutiny.
“We as an administration, we have provided audited financial statements for all those activities. Should anyone really want to interrogate how the money was spend or where the money went, people are free to analyse the accounts. We are currently finalising the year end accounts for this season. And interim audit has been done. The facts and figures would then speak for themselves,” he said.