Kwekwe City Council is planning to spend $1 million on the mayoral vehicle at a time the local authority is struggling to provide services within the mining town.
Mayor Councillor Angeline Kasipo confirmed the development and said the money has been factored in the council’s $471 million proposed 2020 budget.
She said the local authority plans to buy a Toyota Fortuner for her at an estimated cost of $1 million.
The council recently bought a Mazda BT50 for $800 000 for the director of Housing, Mr Edson Chiyangwa.
Clr Kasipo said the local authority was also planning to buy another Mazda BT50 for the dirctor of Health Services, Dr Marry Muchekeza who joined the local authority recently.
She defended the planned expenditure saying everything was being done above board.
“The purchase of vehicles is done in liaison with the parent ministry and last year Government approved the purchase of four vehicles but we only bought one. We are just buying the remaining three which were approved by central Government,” she said.
Clr Kasipo is using a Mazda 323 Familiar as the official mayoral vehicle after former mayor, Matenda Madzoke, turned down the offer of an off-road vehicle arguing that the money should be spent on service delivery.
On the budget, Mayor Kasipo said the local authority’s priority project was the improvement of public lighting in the wake of increased robberies and machete attacks around the city.
“We need to improve our public lighting and we plan to install solar lights so that even when there are power outages, the streets will remain safe for our citizens,” she said.
Clr Kasipo, however, said high operational costs were taking their toll on the local authority thereby making it difficult to provide services.
“We are facing challenges in providing services as the costs are increasing daily while other consumables like water treatment chemicals are being charged in foreign currency.