Ndola City Council (NCC) is in a process of purchasing nine Ford Rangers WildTrak vehicles at a time when it is facing financial problems. The buying of vehicles is going to be financed by staking some of its assets as collateral. The ford ranger vehicles are said to cost more than 100 thousand of dollars.
The revealers confirmed to the Times of Zambia that the buying of the vehicles was checked in the most recent audit of the Ndola City Council (NCC) finances. However, the audit found that the council owed workers millions of money. Other unpaid money belonged to NPSA together with insurance firms that take care of the NCC.
Currently, the vehicles are being used by top managers of the NCC among them managers whose services have been suspended after taking part in the illegal land sale. A newly acquired Ford Ranger costs US$58,500 while a manual one costs US$56,700.
People who have had a chance to see the audit report says that the property that has been staked so as to receive bank financing includes the Lowenthal Theatre. This theatre acts as the hall for the city, public library, the fire station as well as the Housing and Health Department offices.
Tilyenji Mwanza, who is the public relations manager at the Ndola City Council (NCC) failed to comment on the whole issue. There were rumors that the NCC management was still trying to fully understand the audit report that had been to the town clerk, Wisdom Bwalya. Efforts to get feedback from her on how the council manages to purchase the expensive vehicles yet it had not paid the workers didn’t work. In return, she responded by saying that the management was still studying the audit report and it will be possible to respond to such question after the process.
According to Mwanza, the report needs to be delivered to the auditor-general but the council was required to deliberate on it first. After the council has tabled the report, that’s the only time when the general public and other interested persons can get to know the content of the report. Some of the staffs were worried that some of the properties that had been used as collateral could be reposed back due to the inability of the council to honor the terms. Ms. Mwanza assured the staff that there is a need to recheck the terms once more to avoid such problems because the council is facing financial problems. However, revisiting of the contract terms between the bank and the council would be determined on the ways in which the management understood the audit report.
Ms. Mwanza confirmed that the buying of the vehicles was very contentious now that there wasn't enough money to do so. Finally, Ms. Mwanza said that reducing the workforce was amongst the ways of dealing with the financial status of the NCC.