Combined Harare Residents
enhanced civic participation in local governance
In this issue we give you press statements that have been made on the
current suspension of the Executive Mayor of Harare, and ask that all residents
support the initiative by having friends and relatives within the city signing
up to the petition. Let not the democratic right we fought for be put to waste
by the Minister.
In this issue
Crisis in Zimbabwe issues statement on the Suspension of the Executive
ZCTU offers message of Solidarity to the Executive Mayor.
Zimbabwe Network in Germany deplores Minister's
Statement by the Mayor of Munich on the
suspension of the Executive Mayor.
Town House consultative
CHRA to hold Advocacy Workshop
with Urban Councils.
Women in Zimbabwe decry the political violence currently affecting the country.
Anti - Hijack Trust - My Own hijacking
Residents Tickle of the Week.
Residents' Quote of the Week.
Crisis in Zimbabwe issues statement on the
Suspension of the Executive Mayor.
Hypocrisy Revealed in Mudzuri
The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition condemns the double standards
exhibited by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing
in suspending the Executive Mayor of Harare, Eng. Elias Mudzuri for alleged
“mismanagement of City affairs leading
to a decline in service delivery to the residents and ratepayers of
reality, however, since Mudzuri’s election, it is the Minister of Local
Government, Public Works and National Housing that has
interfered with the City Council and frustrated attempts of the Executive Mayor
to run the city. Despite this, the
Executive Mayor has continued to perform his duties, and has provided critical
services to the people of Harare to as great an extent as possible. Notably, his bona fide attempts to
consult residents have been thwarted by riot police for nebulous political
The arbitrary suspension of Mudzuri represents a double standard
in the application of authority by the Minister of Local Government. While other local authorities continue
to suffer under poor service delivery, similar action has not been adopted. Indeed, the whole country is a victim of
mismanagement and poor service delivery, and yet not a single member of the
executive has been fired. Hospitals
are largely dysfunctional, as are schools, colleges and universities. There are rampant food, fuel and foreign
currency shortages. Surely if
service delivery were so important, the entire government would have been fired
Beyond this, the actions of the Minister of Local Government come
at a time when service delivery from some of the nation’s largest parastatal
organisations—such as NOCZIM and ZESA—has collapsed. And yet no one in the Ministry of Energy
has been asked to pack their bags or go on unpaid
Coalition condemns the hypocrisy of the Minister of Local Government suspending
an elected representative of Zimbabwe’s capital city. Mudzuri was popularly elected by the
residents of Harare to serve a four-year term. Most residents have noted with gratitude
his council’s attempt to repair roads and traffic lights and to attend to refuse
collection, among other services.
The Member of Parliament for Zvimba North is obliged to defer to the
interests of Harare residents in this matter. If the rural MP holds a contrary
opinion, the matter should be put to a referendum at his expense. Until then, Harare residents have a
right to be represented by their elected leader.
The Coalition’s mandate is to address the twin questions of
governance and legitimacy.
Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition¨¨¨Tel/Fax: +263 4 747 817¨¨¨Email:
A petition to protest the suspension of
Mudzuri is currently being circulated.
Please contact CHRA on 746 019 or
email them on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how you can sign on to that
offers message of Solidarity to the Executive Mayor.
Congress of Trade Unions has offered a letter of solidarity to the City Council over the suspension of the
Executive Mayor of Harare, Eng. Elias Mudzuri. In a letter addressed to the
Engineer, the ZCTU stated that:
It is unfortunate that the Honourable Minister seems to be bent on
frustrating the Mayor of Harare and ultimately push him out of office when he
should be busy attending to more pressing national
The ZCTU unreservedly supports
The Mayor in all his efforts in trying to solve the problems being faced by the
Harare residents and also understands that some of these problems are beyond the
The ZCTU would like to urge Your
Worship to remain resolute and committed in fulfilling the mandate you were
given by the residents of Harare who elected you into
Network in Germany deplores Minister's Action.
The Zimbabwe Network in Germany, as a
solidarity organisation for zimbabwean people and engaged in creating public
awareness for the situation in zimbabwe, wish to express our support for you as
elected mayor of the City of Harare.
We strongly protest your suspension by the
Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National
The Minister claims that he is acting in the
interests of the residents and that he has consulted the. As far as we are
informed we have to reject both assertions.
The Government refused to hold elections for
the post of Mayor and it was the association, Combined Harare Residents
Association (CHRA) that compelled the Government to hold the elections.
We appreciate that the Executive Mayor has
tried to carry out his duties despite constant interference from the Minister.
Council has been denied access to funds for capital projects and attempts to rid
the municipality of incompetent employees have been frustrated. Your efforts to
engage the public have resulted in not only your arrest but the arrest of
residents who sought to bring their issues to your
We call upon the Minister to immediately
rescind the order for your suspension and to stop interfering with the
democratically elected Council.
for the Zimbabwe Network in
Secretary and Board
Statement by the Mayor of Munich on the
suspension of the Executive Mayor.
by the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Ignatius
Chombo to suspend the Executive Mayor of Harare Engineer Elias Mudzuri has
reaching decision can hardly be justified in our eyes. From our own experience
we know Mayor Mudzuri as a highly qualified, responsible and engaged partner who
is working hard to turn around the situation in Harare which has deteriorated
during years of previous mismanagement. The decision to suspend the Executive
Mayor of Harare on the ground of general and unproven allegations is contary to
our understanding of basic democratic principles. Elias Mudzuri has been elected
Mayor of Harare by an overwhelming majority of the citizens of Harare.
For the sake
of democracy in Zimbabwe and in the best interest of the citizens of Harare we
believe this suspension should be reversed immediately.
We would also
like to stress that only a democratically legitimised city government in Harare
can be a partner of the city of Munich.
Town House meetings
Commanding ZRP Harare Central, Chief
Superintendant Bobby Murwira has issued a
letter addressed to the Acting Mayor of Harare advising of the suspension of all
meetings with residents at Town House " as a prevententive measure". The letter
states that the weekly meetings' agenda " have become incitive of public disorder," hence
" my office hereby suspends the holding of such meetings in the interest of
publuc order until further notice."
The meetings have been subject
to inordinate disruptions ever since they took off the ground, with residents each week being
intimidated by the presence of police in full riot gear. Most of the issues that
the Residents Associations have raised for discussion have not been
attended to because of the disruptions. The letter explicitly states that "
Failure to comply with this order shall result in direct confrontation
and or disruption of such meetings without notice and the subsequent arrests and
prosecution of participants.
CHRA to hold Advocacy Workshop with Urban
From the 14th to the 15th of May 2003,
Combined Harare Residents Association under the auspices of the Zimbabwe United
Residents Association will be holding an advocacy workshop with the Executive
Mayors, TownClerks, Chairpersons, Chief Executive Officers, and Secretaries of
the Town Boards that fall within the urban local authorities of Zimbabwe. The
Workshop seeks to have the following outcomes:
i) To share the findings, and
policy recommendations, on the Audit of the Urban Councils Act we commissioned
with specific reference to enhanced civic
participation in local/municipal governance
To share UCAZ’s findings and
learn from their experiences with regards to civic participation in municipal
To develop and enhance the smart partnership strategies to ensure broader
decision making process in municipal governance
The Urban Councils Association of
Zimbabwe, to which the local authorities are members came up with various
recommendations aimed at ammending the Urban Councils Act (Chapter
29:15). One of these ammendments had to do with the decentralisation of
services to allow for councils to gain more autonomy in their operations. The
association hopes to share with the service providers their experiences in as
far as the act is concerned with a view to fine tuning its proposals for
consideration by parliament. A full report of the workshop proceedings shall be
Women in Zimbabwe decry the
political violence currently
affecting the country.
WOMEN’S COALITION OF
Women's Coalition condemns in the strongest terms possible the sexual, physical,
psychological, emotional and other forms of violence that have been committed
against the women of Zimbabwe. We
are particularly incensed by the recently reported gang rapes. The intensity and multiple
forms of violence which women are being subjected to has reached intolerable and
shameful levels. Over
the last few years thousands of women have been the silent and invisible victims
of an orchestrated campaign of terror and politically driven violence that has
swept the country. Rape
is being used as a weapon to terrorize, humiliate and degrade women, pushing
them into silence and accepting human rights abuses of the foulest sort. The
cultural taboos surrounding sexual violations in our society have enveloped
these horrific rape crimes in cloaks of silence. The impact of this sexual
violence will live with these women forever, especially given the high levels of
take great exception to statements applauding the patience and resilience of
Zimbabwean women. Such statements suggest that it is acceptable for African
women to be violated and to accommodate that oppression. Women have borne the
brunt of the violence associated with politics for long enough.
is a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of
Discrimination Against Women CEDAW. The government has committed itself to
ending all forms of sexual and other gender based violent crimes against women.
We demand protection under that convention.
the Women's Coalition, an indigenous umbrella body of individual women and
women's non-governmental organizations demand that the relevant authorities call
for an immediate end to the violence that now colours our society. We demand that the relevant authorities
deal with the matter of making our communities peaceful immediately instead of
treating the violations with indifference and contempt towards women who
shoulder the burden of family and other responsibilities.
Please print this message out and distribute it at your
workplace. In addition, feel free
to forward this message to your contacts and colleagues.
Anti - Hijack Trust - My Own
Today, Tuesday is a
milestone but not many milestones have been passed unfortunately. At 4.00pm on Tuesday the 4th May 1998, I was hijacked,
violently assaulted, and a man stuck a gun in my stomach and cocked it. 5 years
on and that one man out of a gang of 4 was caught and charged with armed
robbery. I have been to Court at least 4 times in 5 years, ID'd the man endless
times both inside and outside the courtroom and still nothing has happened. The
original Bench consisted of a Judge and 2 Assessors, but now one of the
Assessors is chronically ill and cannot continue with my case, so it has now
been referred to the Supreme Court where I've been told they will either decide
to convict him anyway or they will order a re-trial. The "suspect" is
languishing in jail on conviction of other robbery crimes, but what if he serves
his sentence and is released. He knows exactly who I am and where I live. What
I'm trying to say is that Justice delayed is certainly not justice received. I
am by no means the only one in this predicament. The newly retired
Attorney-General was a good friend and had been working very hard to see my case
"closed". It all smacks of something and the Prosecutor involved tells me that
the case is "sensitive". Where do I go from here? Why does no one tell me what is
happening? For how long must I remain
a victim? I have kept quiet about the injustices of my case but not for one
second more. I just wanted to share this "anniversary" with you and let you know
that I will never give up no matter what happens.
Heerden - Anti Hijack Trust.
a message to let you know that we protest, in the strongest terms, to the
suspension of our elected mayor, Elias Mudzuri.
Let our voices be heard in
any way you can.
The minister does not yet understand the democratic
All the best
I am hoping that this is over soon
so we dont have to start the withholding of rates again!
We are behind you all
the way. Please do count on us for whatever is necessary by all means
us plan action not just talking. We can not have Chinotimbas as our councilors
and mayors. These are not elected people. Please we need action
So, what are we going to
do about it. I have umpteen dozen e-mails and phone calls every day asking
what is happening and when are the people going to get up and do something - MDC
lead the pack, we need to be told what to do. I know it is hard with no
media coverage but still the question on everybodies lips are 'what are the MDC
going to do and when?' There are many who now do not believe that the MDC
have the 'guts' whatever you want to call it, to do anything.
Tickle of the Week.
Simple Simon applied for a deputy sheriff's job. In the
interview, the sheriff asked him, "What's one and one?"
This wasn't what the sheriff meant, but he had to admit the boy was
right. Next question: "What two days of the
week start with the letter
"Today and tomorrow."
The sheriff was impressed by the way Simon
thought outside the box, so he challenged him. "Who killed Abraham
Simon looked surprised and admitted, "I don't know." "Well, go home
and work on that for a while," replied the
sheriff, satisfied that he'd
stumped him.Simon went home and told his mother, "The interview went
First day on the job and I'm already working on a murder
From Reader's Digest, May
Residents' Quote of the
"You have no
chance but use it."
- A German saying mentioned by
the Mayor of Munich during his recent visit to Harare.
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Combined Harare Residents