The City Council of Harare, Zimbabwe, blew tens of thousands of dollars on iPads for councilors and selected managers, local media noted Tuesday, days after a United Nations report found the nation on the brink of “man-made starvation.”
The Herald reports that local authorities spent around $500 per iPad for the city’s 46 councilors, which would have been enough to clear a monthly salary backlog for at least 337 council employees on the lowest salaries.
According to the council’s acting communications manager, Innocent Ruwende, the iPads are an essential purchase as the council is “generating a lot of paperwork hence the need to go digital.”
Local residents reacted with outrage, noting the council has far more pressing matters to deal with and is often complaining about a shortage of funds and foreign currency.
“No ratepayer would want to fund a luxury such as an iPad when he does not have water to drink.