BY MOSES MATENGA
RESIDENTS yesterday accused the government of authoring the confusion currently devilling the Harare City Council (HICC) to push its own political agenda.
Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba accused the government, especially Local Government minister July Moyo, the provincial development co-ordinator (PDC) Tafadzwa Muguti and other officials of fuelling chaos at the Harare City Council for their political gain.
The government has been conspicuous by its silence on the Harare mess that has seen the suspension of mayor Jacob Mafume, his deputy Luckson Mukunguma, and town clerk Hosiah Chisango as well as several directors.
The suspensions have rendered the local authority dysfunctional and residents are livid about it.
We are witnessing unprecedented interference in the administration of the City of Harare,” Shumba said.
“We have witnessed directives coming from PDC, and from the Local Government and Public Works ministry. It is evident that the central government has vested interests to perpetuate a culture of confusion at Town House in Harare,” he said.
Shumba accused the government of turning officials and councillors against each other through gossip as well as undermining their authority.
“The PDC has become a too powerful actor in the affairs of Harare.”
He said all the councillors in the dock were yet to be convicted, hence, in the eyes of the residents, they remained their elected officials who should be allowed to work.
“They want to perpetuate a culture of failure to deliver public service and they will not allow stability and order in the City of Harare. That is what we have seen so far based on their actions.”
The Zimbabwe National Organisation of Associations of Residents Trust national chairman Shepherd Chikomba said the situation obtaining at Town House was worrying, adding that immediate action was needed for the good of service delivery.
“Following the spate of negative publicity implicating the top managers at the Harare Municipality on serious allegations of gross misconduct bordering on graft, abuse of office and land scams, the prospects of relying on such a tainted team to commandeer the premier council towards the coveted ‘world-class city’ by 2025 are not only bleak, but an illusion,” Chikomba said.
He said the entire administration at the HCC had become a liability to both residents and the nation at large.
Moyo yesterday refused to comment on the mess as well as that of interference.
“The matters are before the courts, and so better ask the prosecutors,” Moyo said before hanging up.
Muguti posted on Twitter over the weekend that he was being fought for his “anti-corruption” stance, adding that he would not be deterred.