Dr Chombo, the ball is in your court | The Herald

via Editorial Comment: Dr Chombo, the ball is in your court | The Herald March 7, 2014 Opinion & Analysis

Early last month, we published a story based on a December 2013 report by consulting engineer Mr Peter Morris in which the expert highlighted that a water deal between the City of Harare and China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corporation could have been inflated to the tune of US$100 million.

As has become the norm with some public officials in Zimbabwe, city authorities tried to deny that there was something horribly amiss with the deal that was signed in 2010 by Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi and CMEC.

No one in Zimbabwe’s public office has ever done anything wrong. Everything bad about the economy, infrastructure, water, electricity, education, health and sport is as a result of some natural cause or sanctions.

Our public officials are, apparently, hardworking angels who have never put a foot wrong and we should all be eternally grateful that they take their precious time to serve us – for hefty salaries, of course.

Yesterday, we carried another story on how the City of Harare could lose 733,9 hectares of land because of the Airport Road deal with Augur Investments.

From the word go, questions have always been raised about the costing of the project and the awarding of the contract.
Again, as is natural with our super-perfect public officials, the media were just criticising for the sake of criticising.

Never mind that people have a genuine expectation of transparency from these offices, moreso when the deals mean the public lose tens of millions of dollars in spectacularly opaque circumstances.

Regarding the Airport Road mess-up, one of the readers of The Herald Online, Wilson Magaya, made a very interesting observation yesterday.
He said, “7,4 million square metres. Wow this was an ill-structured deal by the city. This comes to a whopping 88 million (US) dollars of council land at a conservative price of US$12 (per square metre).”

By any measure and standard, the deal is simply illogical. Not so for our public authorities.
What we would like to see now is action from Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo on the Augur Investments Airport Road contract, the CMEC water infrastructure rehabilitation deal, and many other deals at the City of Harare and other local authorities over past years.

Dr Chombo will be well aware that a significant proportion of the public is not exactly enamoured of how he has handled certain local government issues, especially his reinstatement of Harare Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi after he had been suspended by city mayor Mr Bernard Manyenyeni.

Dr Mahachi had been suspended for reportedly failing to furnish council with a full schedule of what he and other senior managers at the municipality were earning.

Much of the public thought that the suspension would indeed pave way for some sort of investigation into the salaries issue at Town House, and that Dr Chombo almost immediately reinstated him certainly raised eyebrows.

There is a perception in some quarters that the Harare town clerk and Dr Chombo are a little too cosy.
It would be quite welcome to see a robust response from Dr Chombo at least on the Airport Road Augur Investments and CMEC water rehabilitation deals.

We know that Dr Chombo is capable of robust action as seen by his interventions on alleged and proven corruption by councillors.
It would be good to see the same stern response to alleged corruption, abuse of office and sometimes sheer ineptitude on the part of municipal managers.

 

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12 comments on “Dr Chombo, the ball is in your court | The Herald
  1. CHINDUNDUMA says:

    I HAVE NEVER, REPEAT NEVER READ SUCH A WELL ARTICULATED ARTICLE IN THE HERALD. CHOMBO THE BALL IS NOW IN YOUR COURT GIVE US A ROBUST RESPONSE AS ALWAYS. CHOMBO TANETA NEWE ZVINO PEPA NHAU REMUSANGANO RATAURA PINDURA TINZWE. YOU ALWAYS BLAME THE SANCTIONS, THE MDC, THE BRITISH, THE AMERICANS , THE EU, AND EVEN A POOR SOUL LIKE MYSELF SO WHAT IS GOING ON IN YOUR PARASTATALS IWE CHOMBO

    • Mukanya says:

      Taura hako Chindunduma. Herald chairo!!! Ndambofunga kuti ndatadza kuona ndave pakati pekuverenga. Ndatarisa futi ndikaona zvechokwadi pakanzi Herald. Asi pane achadzingwa basa nenyaya iyoyi. Heads will roll at Herald.

  2. Gutu says:

    Chombo is the most corrupt minister in mugabe’s government.He stinks.

  3. Roving Ambassador says:

    The cake is getting smaller. Sacrifices have to be made. Those not involved in the second chimurenga will be sacrificed. I think the herald is also waking up to the fact that there is no money in government to bail it out. They have to attract readership and advertisers. Come on Moyo go for it before an accident is organized. As long as you don’t touch the Junta you are safe.

  4. chatunga says:

    certainly when prraise simgers like herald make such noise umm i smell a rat. There is a hidden hand behind. Small boys at herald house could not get these guts. This might be result of a deal gone sour with chombo failimg to grease the highest ornamentals’ palms

  5. NBS says:

    Where the hand did Chombo get the title Dr? Dr of what? What did he do with those who gave him money for stands and houses in Banket years ago????

  6. mwana wevhu says:

    Thank you for persistantly exposing this very corrupt minister. Zimbabweans are surprised why he is still a minister at all. His level of wealth alone exposed during his divorce confirms that it cannot have been legally obtained. As I write this harare council employees have not been paid their wages for january and february. Where as Chombo’s partners in crime the town clerk and all directors get their loot on time every month. kuchazoverinhiko tichitambura. school fees, rent, food, transport,

  7. NBS says:

    Dare we believe something different is happening at the herald? Chombo should have gone a long time ago!

  8. Charles Chamunorwa says:

    Don’t forget that Chombo took swift action on corrupt MDC councillors and he will never do the same on corrupt Zanu pf councillors or officials. In Zimbabwe it is not the crime which matters but the party you are from.

  9. Observer says:

    What’s going on at Herald House??? This is not your kind of tone. We have always wanted you to do this – serve the public but for too long you were being told what to write. Please keep up the fair and professional approach that you are adopting.

  10. gorongoza says:

    Expecting Chombo to act on his own corrupt activities is being foolish (with the nenefit of doubt, maybe sarcastic!). We all know that Chombo is involved in all these deals and has benefitted immensely.

  11. E Makhate says:

    Chombo, Cde Thief, Respond.

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