The Gaborone City Council is one strange animal that never ceases to amaze.
Just when we thought that the Daisy Loo scandal was embarrassing enough to wake up officers from their slumber, it is evident that there are more surprises that await the nation from the council. It is reported that the GCC books of accounts have not been subjected to audit for almost four years. The latest audit report from the council is for the year ended March, 31 2010. However, the GCC continues to get government funds every year.
In his findings, the Auditor General states that: “It is my opinion that subject to the comments and matters raised in this report, the balance sheet and annual accounts as prepared and presented to me for audit, do not fairly present the financial position and operational results of the Gaborone City Council as at 31 March, 2010 in conformity with International Accounting Standards and Township Act Cap 40:02”.
It is not surprising that the Auditor General made these findings since there are many strange things that have taken place at GCC. For example, sometimes back, an officer refused to be transferred from the city council and was allowed to stay put.
With everybody working hard to improve efficiency in service delivery, GCC seems to be going backwards. It is inconceivable that an authority that runs the country’s capital city has not had its books audited for four years. We are told every now and then that the city has entered bilateral agreements with other cities or municipalities yet it is managed like a semausu. We learned recently that the city council was going to establish a company to most transactions on its behalf, including fundraising. It is our belief that the company has been established. But the question is whether the company will comply with financial accounting standards. It is also possible that the new outfit is a ploy by some officers to milk the GCC.
Last week, residents of Phase IV announced their intentions to sue the city council for its failure to collect garbage, and fix streetlights. What is worse is the putrid smell that has engulfed the city with council officials at sea on who should deal with the problem. They cannot do anything about the stench nor do they know who should do something. Some roads in the city are patches of black concrete stuck in the middle of potholes, but there is very little that is done to address the problem by the council. Perhaps it is time for the parent ministry to crack the whip wayward civic authorities like GCC.
“It starts with respect. If you respect the customer as a human being, and truly honor their right to be treated fairly and honestly, everything else is much easier.”
– Doug Smith