Wesley Kauma was the Chiredzi town engineer, and in 2019 and 2020 was named in many allegations of incompetence, acquiring many properties, and lying about the Chiredzi water situation.

Personal Details

No information could be found on his age, place of birth, or family.

School / Education

No information could be found on his Junior or High School, or any tertiary education.

Service / Career

2019 - Chiredzi town engineer.

Events

In July 2019, anonymous sources alleged that Chiredzi Town Council was being defrauded of thousands of dollars by employees through underhand dealings.

Two years ago council allegedly bought drums of tar for a road project carried out by Tensor Systems in the town’s low-density area. Ten drums that were left after Tensor completed the project were kept in the warehouse. When council decided to patch up potholes around the town this year, the stores and engineering departments allegedly persuaded the procurement committee, chaired by town secretary Charles Muchatukwa, to buy the tar which they said belonged to Tensor. The money for the tar was allegedly transferred into private accounts resulting in council losing money in the process.

In another case Tensor Systems is alleged to have received $50 000 as advance payment from council to enable them to commence the construction of a 2,4km West Road when, in fact, the money was supposed to come from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration.

“Right now, there are three drums in the warehouse, which were left by Clime Construction when they surfaced part of Lion Drive three years ago. Chances are high that council is going to buy them again. I do not know if the procurement committee is not aware of the scam or they share the proceeds.

Council chairperson Gibson Hwende referred all questions to the town secretary. Town secretary Charles Muchatukwa could not be reached. Contacted for comment, the stores manager James Sithole referred questions to the town engineer, Wesley Kauma. Council road supervisor Derek Chisayino laughed at the allegations concerning his company and said he was not aware of the whole thing. United Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (UCHIRRA) secretary Benard Dachi called for an urgent audit by external auditors. [1]

In December 2019, Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (CHRRA) petitioned Chiredzi Town Council to suspend town engineer Wesley Kauma over what they claim to be his grossly incompetent handling of the water crisis in the town.

The residents organisation’s letter – addressed to council chairperson, town secretary and councillors – attacks Kauma for the people’s failure to get optimum services with regards to availability of water. When contacted for comment, Kauma defended his record arguing that he was doing his best to maintain optimum service delivery in the town. He attacked the resident organisation for allegedly failing to follow protocol in expressing their grievances.

"CHRRA is kindly proposing that investigation of the water crisis be done by a consultant and if the engineer is cleared, he resumes his duties and if he is found incompetent, he resigns," the letter reads.

Tongaat Huletts, through Hippo Valley Estates connected its electricity cable at the water works which later failed to pump water during power cuts as it requires a transformer. [2]


In the 2020 Chiredzi budget, council proposed to purchase vehicles for management. However, Chiredzi United Residents and Ratepayers Association (Chirra) has voiced strong objections saying town engineer, Wesley Kauma, does not deserve a vehicle because he has failed to deal with the water crisis. Chirra chairperson Jonathan Muusha said “Incompetence should not be rewarded.” “The town is dry most of the times and we wonder what the engineer is doing. We will not reward someone who just comes to work to warm the chair and do nothing.” [3]

In February 2020, Chiredzi town secretary Charles Muchatukwa confirmed that town engineer Wesley Kaumahad been suspended following alleged pressure from residents who accused him of incompetence and corruption. The United Residents and Ratepayers’ Association (Uchirra), which has since 2016 writing letters demanding that the engineer be relieved of his duties. They demanded an investigation into the engineer’s qualifications, citing wasted grant money, (failure to meet grant timelines), incompetence, (failure on water and sewerage upgrades and drainage system) and poor workmanship on roads as well as abuse of council property and resources.

In one of the letters, the residents stated that the engineer lied to a Local Government ministry level benchmarking team that 85% of Chiredzi households had running water when the town was facing a serious water crisis. [4]

In March 2020, Chiredzi Town Council engineer appeared before a disciplinary committee that was set up to look into allegations of incompetence levelled against him.

Chiredzi Residents and Rate Payers Association (CHRRA) secretary Jonathan Muusha noted misuse of council vehicle, failure to bring solution to the water crisis as well as justification as to how he suddenly acquired many houses in town. CHRRA is “currently impressed by the work being done by the engineering department now under Kauma’s deputy, Irvine Muteyaunga”. The department had managed to install a transformer at the water works, replaced the water pipeline from the treatment plant, a storm drain was maintained, street lights at the bus terminuses and CBD were erected, all public toilets were face lifted. All these happened in a short period while Kauma was on suspension. [5]

Chiredzi town secretary Charles Muchatukwa reinstated town engineer Wesley Kauma in March 2020 under unclear circumstances. Council chairman Gibson Hwende confirmed the reinstatement, but referred all questions to Charles Muchatukwa, saying he was out of town all week. A source privy to the matter said Wesley Kauma was charged with insubordination and was warned and immediately reinstated.

Uchirra advocacy officer Bernard Dachi said the suspension was an act to avoid pressure from the association. He added that they are going to pursue other avenues to bring the town council to account. [6]

  1. [Chiredzi ‘losing’ thousands through shady deals], Newsday, Published: 16 July 2019, Retrieved: 21 April 2020
  2. Chiredzi Residents Want Town Engineer Fired, TellZim, Published: 9 December 2019, Retrieved: 21 April; 2020
  3. No Car For Chiredzi Town Engineer Until Water Crisis Is Resolved, Says Residents, Tell Zim, Published: 10 January 2020, Retrieved: 20 April 2020
  4. Chiredzi town engineer suspended, Southern Eye, Published: 28 February 2020, Retrieved: 21 April 2020
  5. [http://lowveldcheckpoint.co.zw/news/index.php/2020/03/18/chiredzi-town-engineer-charged/ Chiredzi town engineer charged], Name of Publication Here, Published: 18 March 2020, Retrieved: 21 April 2020
  6. Chiredzi engineer reinstated under unclear circumstances, Newsday, Published: 24 March 2020, Retrieved: 21 April 2020