A Mandara resident has petitioned to Local Government and Public Works Minister Winston Chitando and the City of Harare over the election of former Ward 41 Councillor Kudzai Kadzombe, who has since been recalled.
The resident argues the election of Mrs Kadzombe, who was also former Harare deputy mayor was irregular because she allegedly built her house on a wetland in Marlborough.
The petition also requests action over the lack of service delivery in Mandara which it argues arose from former Ward 18 Councillor Ian Makone’s election as Mayor of Harare. Mr Makone has also since been recalled.
In the petition dated November 2, 2023, the Mandara resident said Mrs Kadzombe’s acquisition of a stand on a wetland where she built a three-bedroomed house illegally was not above board.
The resident based his petition on a Herald story headlined: “CCC ward 41 candidate Kadzombe fined $50k for building on a wetland” the paper published in March last year ahead of council by-elections.
“Wetlands are a source of clean water and are protected by statutes of the law,” he said.
The petition questioned election/appointment of such city fathers who “act in a manner contrary to residents” expectations.
The resident said the election of Mr Makone as mayor before his recall left a void in addressing the needs of Mandara residents.
“Having been voted as Harare mayor, we the residents of Mandara, the majority (who) voted for you as their council representative now have a void as you are now the mayor and cannot perform or interact with us the residents.
“We don’t know how to get you to escalate our burning issues to council and further as you are busy on mayoral matters.
“Technically we have no councillor and effectively, a by-election must be conducted in a bid to fill this void,” reads the petition.
The resident said “areas of service marginalisation” included the lack of traffic signals at the Harare Drive and Pringle Road intersection and the Arcturus and Pringle Roads intersection with accidents occurring on the intersections daily.
“We have even petitioned the relevant authorities but to no avail.
“These two intersections could do with innovative modern day traffic control and road construction designs, bearing in mind that these roads are used by many through pass traffic from Mabvuku and Eastview including heavy vehicles connecting to Mutare Road.
These trucks damage the roads,” reads the petition.
The resident said Greendale and Mandara roads are in a terrible state.
“The bridge on Pringle Road is collapsing as I write.
“Council water is received once a month if we are lucky.
“However, luck should not be associated with service delivery. Ratepayers don’t believe in that sort of luck.
“The Letombo water reservoir has huge leaks and the Zesa (electricity) cables have since fallen.
“Please visit this reservoir and appraise yourself on its current status.”
The petition said Mandara needs street lights while the council clinic in Greendale needs an upgrade.
“Then we have shops at Mandara which closed some 20 years ago and are a hive of drug and substance sales and abuse but no relevant authority bothers to enquire why and who owns it and why it is not been serving the community.
“Vendors are a menace throughout Kamfinsa area and shops, threatening the rise of drug and illegal substances being sold and consumed.
“In the past six months, we have had many houses burning to the ground due to various reasons and our fire station and equipment has not been effective. In some cases, as on a few occasions, they arrived empty.
“As council, it is your direct responsibility to ensure that they are retooled and equipped with modern and effective resources.”
The resident also questioned the city’s financial status saying rates are constantly increased but to no avail.
“The city’s expenditure and budget continues to balloon and rates are increased but where are these financial resources going?
“Please avail to us your five-year developmental plans for the city.
“In this document, I sincerely hope you consider transport solutions through modern-day rail metro exchange and road.”
The resident also criticised the attitude of council workers saying they lack commitment to work.
“The district officers and administrators are most disinterested in ensuring effective service delivery and it is imperative to eradicate these positions for much more effective and robust structures that are decentralised to grouping management. The current district management model is outdated and ineffective. Sadly, it seems we are governed by by-laws from the 60s and 70s. May I remind you that we are an independent people and as such, let us organise ourselves in a manner that reflects self-determination and modern-day progress.”
The resident said he would contact the relevant Minister to ensure residents are protected from corruption and undue ostracism and disenfranchisement when it comes to service delivery.
“I would encourage you and your team to work with our esteemed Minister of Local Government to deliver on the expectations of the city as opposed to working in opposition with the relevant Ministry.”