BEITBRIDGE Town Council has suspended three heads of department for awarding themselves US$18 000 annual bonuses. The trio was arrested last week for the same offence. Town treasurer Rejoice Somakiwa, town engineer Maxwell Karenyi and director of administration Mbongeleni Muleya were served with suspension letters by Beitbridge district administrator Mr Simon Muleya last Thursday.
Mr Muleya is also the acting town secretary. Sources within the local authority said the three were suspended with full benefits following a resolution by council. Mr Muleya would not divulge details on the suspensions when contacted for a comment. “We do not want to be seen to be interfering with the court process,” he said.
Somakiwa, Karenyi and Mbongeleni appeared in court on Wednesday facing charges of abuse of public office. Magistrate Gloria Takundwa remanded them to May 14 for trial. Allegations are that the trio connived and awarded themselves performance bonuses of US$6 000 each without approval by council. An audit conducted in March this year unearthed the scam leading to their arrest. They argue that council owed them US$25 000 each in outstanding payments.