THE Zimbabwe National Organisation of Associations and Residents Trust (ZNOART), a body representing residents’ associations in Zimbabwe, has called on the Government to appoint a commission to run the affairs of Harare.
Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter
ZNOART said the City of Harare’s continued failure to provide basic services to residents justifies its proposal for the appointment of a commission.
The residents’ body said ratepayers are tired of lack of services from the municipality and want the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to act so that residents can be in a position to get basic services.
Addressing a press conference in Harare, ZNOART national chairperson Mr Shalvar Chikomba said the body has since written to President Mnangagwa pleading with him to constitute a commission to run the affairs of City of Harare and Chitungwiza Municipality.
Mr Chikomba said the two municipalities, which both fall under the Greater Harare Metropolitan Province, have failed the people for a long time now and it was time central Government liberates the people from corrupt councils.
“The constitution of Zimbabwe clearly states that ‘the state and institutions and agencies of the State and Government at every level must take practical measures to ensure that all local communities have equitable access to resources to promote their development.’ It is against this same sacred document, the constitution which is the supreme law of the land that we have written to the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe His Excellency Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa pleading with him to constitute a commission to run the affairs of City of Harare and Chitungwiza Municipality. We strongly feel enough is enough, as residents we are fed up by the way these two councils are being run.
“Part V of the Urban Councils Act speaks deeply into circumstances under which appointment of a commission may occur. According to Section 80(1)(b) of the said Act, it is stated that the Minister of Local Government may appoint a Commission to act as council if all the councillors of an area have been suspended or imprisoned or are otherwise unable to exercise all or some of their functions as councillors. The Mayor and Councillors in both City of Harare and Chitungwiza have neglected their core functions which are to guarantee service delivery to their residents by ensuring well planned and regulated developments in their jurisdictions. Instead both sets of councillors have spent more time in courts fighting corruption charges. On the other hand, they fight with management to get stands or collect hefty allowances through unsanctioned trips to unending workshops,” said Mr Chikomba.
ZNOART also claimed that in 2022 alone, each councillor in the City of Harare earned well over ZWL$10million in travel allowances to workshop destinations outside Harare at a time service delivery was at its worst
The residents’ body said this was clear evidence of gross incompetence and failure to execute their core functions as the responsible authority hence their call for the appointment of commissions to run Harare and Chitungwiza.