By Tonderai Saharo

Bikita Rural District Council cannot show any development despite receiving over US$100 000 from Bikita Mines over the past years.

This was revealed by Bikita Minerals Finance Director Amanda Makausi.

Makausi said they have been faithful in remitting funds over the past five years.

“We are committed towards our corporate social responsibility.

“Whenever there is a call to assist our community we are always available.

“Bikita rural district council has been our major beneficiary.

“Annually we pay in excess of US$100 000 to the local authority in form of land levy.

“We anticipate that the amount will increase as the more we will produce the more council gets money,” she said.

However, despite the huge funds Bikita RDC has nothing to show as service delivery in one of Masvingo’s populous district continue to nose dive.

Bikita Minerals is one of the largest lithium producers in the country.

It has been conducting mining activities for over five decades and is regarded as one of Bikita RDC’s major cash cows.

Angry Residents

However, revelations of the huge amounts being paid to the local authority have raised the ire of residents.

They claim that the money is being inappropriately used.

Bikita Residents and Ratepayers Association (BIRRA) Secretary General Brilliant Mukaro said the local authority is failing to meet minium expectations of rate payers.

“What we are witnessing at Bikita RDC is a classic mismanagement of resources.

“A number of wards still have a single borehole while most of the districts’ roads are impassable.

“Yet, they are receiving huge amounts of money.

“We should be witnessing a improvement in service delivery but that’s not the case,” he said.

Council Defense

But the Chief Executive Officer Peter Chibhi said the local authority’s expenditure is above board.

Instead, he blamed Bikita residents of not paying their dues.

“Where do residents think we can develop the district when they are not paying their dues.

“Much of the money from Bikita Minerals is channelled towards salaries for employees and allowances for councilors.

“Who can go for months without receiving anything as our coffers will be dry? he said.

In March ZACC arrested Bikita RDC CEO Peter Chibhi and three senior Managers Nomater Gezera (dministrator), Philemon Madara (Internal Auditor) and Never Mavhuna (Finance Officer).

They were accused of corruptly acquiring brand new Toyota GD6 vehicles.

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