Chombo under fire over Mahachi | The Herald

via Chombo under fire over Mahachi | The Herald February 3, 2014 Headlines, Top Stories

LOCAL Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo has come under fire from Harare residents for pushing for the re-instatement of the city’s Town Clerk, Dr Tendai Mahachi, who was last week suspended for three months for failing to provide the salary schedule for all senior council employees.
The suspension was effected to pave way for investigations into the city council’s financial management amid reports the city’s 18 directors were gobbling over half a million dollars in salaries every month at a time service delivery has plummeted to levels where council fails to replace street light bulbs.

Minister Chombo on Saturday convened a Press conference where he ordered the immediate reinstatement of Dr Mahachi even as Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni dug in before being told the reinstatement was a ministerial directive.

Dr Mahachi’s suspension had been welcomed by residents keen to know how much the city was committing to salaries and service delivery in light of shocking revelations that heads of some quasi-government institutions and State enterprises were taking home monthly salaries as high as US$500 000 per month.

Harare Residents Trust director Mr Precious Shumba yesterday took a swipe at Minister Chombo for seeking to interfere with ongoing investigations.

“Minister Chombo must not play spoiler by interfering with lawful investigations being carried out by Harare residents through their elected representatives,” he said.

“HRT strongly suspects the minister has a lot to hide by trying to stop the residents from getting a full account of how their money is being spent.

“He should treat this matter as a purely labour issue between an underperforming employee and an aggrieved employer.
“For that reason Minister Chombo must not undermine the Urban Councils Act. Neither, should he interfere with Zimbabwe’s Constitution which specifically states that running of local authorities is the responsibility of elected councils who are directly accountable to the residents of the city.

“The minister should be held accountable when the residents riot against the Harare City Council by resolving to stop or boycott payment of bills.”

Mr Shumba said Dr Mahachi’s suspension was consistent with the Urban Councils Act Section 139 which gives the local
authority the mandate to suspend the town clerk.

The said provision on Subsection (3) says: “If it appears to the mayor or chairman, as the case may be, that the town clerk of the council has been guilty of such conduct that it is desirable that the town clerk should not be permitted to carry on his work, he—
(a) may suspend the town clerk from office and require him forthwith to leave his place of work; and
(b) shall forthwith notify the council or, in the case of a municipality, executive committee, in writing, of such suspension and cause the suspension to be reported to the council at the first opportunity.”

Combined Harare Residents Association programs manager, Mr Tendai Muchada said Minister Chombo was out of order by trying to suppress information that residents wanted to know.

“There is a standing Cabinet directive that instructs that local authorities must allocate 30 percent only toward administration and personnel while 70 percent goes to service delivery.

“However, the current budget allocates 48 percent to admin and personnel which is what councilors want to address then we have the Minister trying to interfere with that process.

“We cannot have US$500 000 being allocated to salaries of 18 people. We are going to do everything legal to make sure the suspension stands so that investigations can be done. We have to nip corruption in the bud, so for that reason we expect the minister to play ball,” said Mr Muchada.

Mrs Mary Tizora of Budiriro said Dr Chombo was swimming against the tide as the nation wanted to see monster-salary earning bosses brought to account.

‘’It is unfortunate that Minister Chombo took this decision which to me is akin to thumbing his nose at residents. He is a Government minister yes but on leaving his government office he is just a ratepayer like all of us, and must learn to respect the views of residents. I was very disappointed on hearing what he had done,’’ she said.

Tofirei Zvarevashe of Mabvuku dared Minister Chombo to spend just a day in Mabvuku without water, without electricity to appreciate why residents want answers from Town House.

‘’ I wish Minister Chombo would spend a day in Chizhanje, ferry water in a wheelbarrow from the communal borehole, cook on firewood before bathing in a bucket while ensuring that enough water is left in the bucket to flush the toilet, pamwe vangaoneranewo nesu panyaya yeCouncil,’’ he said.

Among the readers who responded to the story on our sister paper, The Sunday Mail’s website were one Toverengwa and Joe Muda.
Said Toverengwa: ‘’Surely Minister Chombo cannot ignore the current mood of public outrage? Why is he now trying to protect one of his self appointed puppets imposed on councillors elected by the people? Is he afraid that with Mr (sic) Mahachi’s absence, too many corrupt undertakings will be discovered that might provide links to his personal self?’’

Joemuda weighed in with: ‘’Chombo has stayed for too long in the ministry of local gvt (government), public works and national housing, he needs to be changed or moved back to the ministry of education. .. The big question is why Does Chombo not want Mahachi investigated?’’

President Mugabe has called for zero tolerance to all forms of corruption, and he underscored this in his address to legislators during a luncheon that was hosted by the Local Government, Public Work’s and National Housing Ministry on the occasion of the official opening of the First Session of the Eighth Parliament last year.

And on several occasions thereafter, the President has urged the law to take its course on corrupt elements.
In its winning Election Manifesto  Zanu-PF identifies corruption as one of the threats to achieving the goals of the people, namely putting the economy in the hands of indigenous Zimbabweans and getting it to work for the people.

To that end, the revolutionary has put its wheels in motion by nipping corruption in the bud starting with public sectors.
“Of particular concern is the rampant corruption in local authorities which interface directly with the people on a daily basis in terms of the delivery of key public services.

“The victims of corruption when in the public or private sector; the professional, NGO or religious
sectors are always the people. This is why zero-tolerance of corruption has become a national priority,” reads the party manifesto in Chapter Five under the topic; “Threats to winning the goals of the people”



  • comment-avatar
    Redemption 7 years ago

    Chombo, Chombo….Ignatius Chombo… the fact that you are going to rot in hell is inevitable unless you truly repent. If you remain unrepentant the Lord punish by burning both here on earth and in hell

    • comment-avatar
      Redemption 7 years ago

      If you remain unrepentant, Ignatius Chombo, may the Lord bring wrath on you on this earth before you face the fire of hell

  • comment-avatar
    Todiyi Senseni 7 years ago

    It’s heart breaking to see Chombo behaving in such a ruthless manner trying to protect their own at the expense of the rate payers. This should be condemned openly by Mugabe if this government has to gain the trust of all it’s citizens. A minster who thinks he is above the law and untouchable .Surely there is more that the people need to know about .” Todiyi Senseni ” what shall we do ! by Tuku explains it all , this has become an epidemic which has brought our country on its knees. Cry my beloved country.

  • comment-avatar
    Rukweza 7 years ago

    Thats the results of being so called peace loving zimbabweans,you don’t protest,jst spend time crossing borders&internet yes they died for this country let them eat their sweat

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 7 years ago

    I recall on the nearly endless list of properties revealed during Marian Chombo’s divorce claim – 20 (yes 20!) stands in Crowhill, Borrowdale and 10 stands in Glen Lorne.

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 7 years ago

    It might be illuminating to know how many of those 30 stands alone were bought from council versus those/any bought from private individuals.

  • comment-avatar
    tafadzwa maguta 7 years ago

    the benefits of coming from vimba,and being the president”s nephew,he belong to the billionaire”s club,where you preach patriotism,nationalism,vegelence,name all universal sounding words you might think of.remember the chiyangwa days,patriotism,was the term of the day,but he was cashing in,against the is common knowledge that ,chombo,had established parrel structures,with his socalled commissions,to sabottage the mdct.mahachi and his fellow directors are all chombo appointee they represent his interests,he will use bogus powers to protect himself and to save his face.the guilty are the most innocent yet they have blood in their hands.

  • comment-avatar

    For a long time now Chombo has been a law unto himself. No one can touch him.He seems to have the power to pardon people. What the people in these salaries scandals have done is criminal. That they will be brought to book I have no doubt. Only it won’t be a Zanu pf book. As I have said in the past it is only god that has no end.

  • comment-avatar
    stobbs 7 years ago

    you protected shona rule for a long time thinking it was beneficial at the same time making laughing stock of minorities ,,,now its your time as god has chosen,,,you must be punished and what makes it ever so pleasurable is thatits being done by your own dogs

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    Gwanyamwanya We Mahobo 7 years ago

    Chombo has been minister of local government for over 20 years now. Why is he not changed? Why? That is where our problem is! just like Augustine Chihuri as police Commissioner he is the longest serving in the history of policing of Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia and Zimbabwe combined!!!!

    Mugabe hambaaa mhani!

  • comment-avatar
    Tafunuka 7 years ago

    I am happy, Herald has changed. They used not to publish such stories. If it’s Jonathan who urged them to do so then well done to Jonnie. Chombo has properties in almost every town

  • comment-avatar

    Tafunuka the herald has not changed. They are still writing and publishing what they are told. They are telling things that everybody already knows. Be careful of Moyo. He is a very clever individual and is trying to spruce up the party. Why would he say Cuthbert Dube has been punished enough. Dube is already a very rich man with the monies he defrauded. To punish him would of been to have him return those millions.