Helen Kadirire 3 September 2018
HARARE – The respondents in a case in which three associations
representing residents in Harare and Chitungwiza are seeking to overturn
the appointment of commissions in their localities have been asked to make
their representations by next week Tuesday.
At the first hearing on Friday last week, High Court judge Justice Edith
Mushore said the matter would be stood down until September 7 after which
she will give a default judgment if no responses have been heard.
“In terms of Rule 244 of the High Court Rules of 1971, the first, second,
fourth, fifth and sixth respondents or any other interested parties to
this matter be and are hereby ordered to make representations as to
whether this matter ought to be treated as urgent,” Mushore said.
“First and second respondents be and are hereby directed to file their
opposing affidavits by the fifth of September by close of business,
failure of which there shall be no bar to the matter proceeding to
finality. Matter is stood down and will resume on September 7, 2018 at 11
am. It is so directed”.
Local Government minister July Moyo, Harare town clerk, Chitungwiza town
clerk and the six commissioners for both councils were cited as
respondents in the matter.
The Combined Harare Residents Association (Chra) along with the Community
Water Alliance and the Chitungwiza and Manyame Rural Residents Association
have taken Moyo to court over the appointment of caretaker commissions.
They argue that the move was in contravention of the Constitution.
In the application before the court, the residents want an order to be
made that Moyo’s decision to appoint the commissions to preside over
Harare City Council and Chitungwiza Town Council contravene section 277
(3) of the Constitution and are invalid.
The pressure groups stated that at law, all councillors ought to have
assumed office nine days after the announcement of winners in the just
ended Harmonised elections.
Chra executive director Mfundo Mlilo is on record arguing that past
experiences of caretaker commissions have led to disasters in local
“There is no justifiable reason why our elected councillors are not
working for the people.
“The whole thing smells of gross corruption as was the case with previous
“Their reporting structure which requires them to declare allegiance only
to the minister and not people who voted them into such positions makes it
difficult for residents to hold them accountable.
“Besides that the experience we have had with commissions is not good for
example; Harare’s water problems and the cholera epidemic can be traced
back to Sekesayi Makwavarara’s commission,” Mlilo said.